October 22, 2009

I've been cooking and baking.....

The soup pictured above is my favorite recipe for " Italian Wedding" soup. I got the recipe from an e-mail sent from Whole Foods. I really wanted to share it because it so good! Written on the recipe is this little note about what Italian wedding soup is. It reads: While the name indicates that the soup might be served at an Italian wedding, it is actually a mistranslation of minestra maritata, which refers to the "marriage" of greens and meat in the soup. I did know this, but it might be new info for someone else.

The recipe is as follows:

For the meatballs
1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1 egg

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley

pinch ground nutmeg

pinch paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the soup:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

3/4 cup chopped white onion

3/4 cup chopped carrot

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

1 small can whole tomatoes, drained and halved

1 cup orzo

2 cups shredded kale

Combine ground beef, pork, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, oregano, nutmeg, paprika, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Use a teaspoon to measure out the meat for even meatballs. With damp hands, shape them into balls. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrot, salt and pepper and cook until translucent and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, water and tomatoes. Cover and cook 10 minutes over medium heat or until soup comes to a boil.

Add meatballs and orzo to the boiling soup and stir to make sure they are fully submerged. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes over medium heat. Stir in kale. Test meatball and a piece of orzo to ensure that they are fully cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately!!!
I made this Cardamom vanilla pound cake last weekend for dinner guests. This is what is left, all though, I took this picture on Monday, so now it is gone. Boy was it good.

Cardamom Vanilla pound cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 with rack in the middle. Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.( used a bundt pan)

Whisk together flour cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat together butter and granulated sugar in mixer at medium speed, scraping side of bowl occasionally, until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans with tip of a paring knife into butter mixture, reserving pods for another use, and beat until combined well, about 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in lemon juice until combined well. At low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

spoon batter into pan, smoothing top. Gently rap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles.

Bake until a wooded skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 1 hour, then invert onto a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour more.

The recipe also calls for : 1 !/2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 1/2 pure vanilla extract.

Beat cream with confectioners sugar and vanilla extract using whist attachment of mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve cake with whipped vanilla cream.

This pound cake got better with each passing day, as the flavors intensified. Make sure all ingredients are at room temp, like the eggs, butter and milk. This will make for a very tender cake. Enjoy


  1. You have been a busy Domestic Diva haven't you?



  2. delicioso! your home must always have the best aromas.

  3. yum and yum! thanks for sharing. And I did not know the wedding soup trivia, so thank-you again!

  4. Hi Elizabeth, I would love to try that version of Italian Wedding soup, it looks soo good!

    And your cake! Vanilla and Cardamom ~ what an absolutely heavenly combination.

    Have a lovely weekend! xo

  5. Elizabeth! I love Italian Wedding Soup. Unwittingly, in January I cooked up a big pot of it and later that night got engaged. My recipe called for Acini de Pepi though -- almost as delicious as using orzo.