Sunday, December 22, 2013

Easy Italian Wedding Soup

It is a snowy day. I am pregnant. I want soup. But not just any soup. I want Italian Wedding Soup. And we don’t have any cans of it, and last time I used the canned stuff it wasn’t as good as I remembered anyway. Not to mention I’m snowed in and can’t get to the store. (Or rather, my husband has the carseat, and even if he didn’t, the car doors are frozen shut)

My one year old looking at the first real snow this winter

Pregnancy tastebuds persist.

I remember that when I was grocery shopping I bought both hot Jimmy Dean and a bag of chopped spinach, neither of which my husband likes.


Enter Pinterest, and too many different recipes to choose from, all a little different. I finally picked this one, but by this point I am getting hungry and decide that little tiny meatballs are far too much work. Crumbled sausage will work just fine.

So I totally skipped the meatball portion of the recipe, and made lots of other adaptations along the way, for either time or ingredients-on-hand’s sake. Here is what I came up with.

I’m enjoying it as I type, and it is totally satisfying the craving. Completely. That and then some. It is making my day so much better, and it’s been a really good day so far. And I will never buy the Campbell’s version again. Ever. This is far superior.

Okay, I know, enough already.


Here’s the recipe without further ado:

 Easy Italian Wedding Soup
1 lb. Jimmy Dean sausage1/4 c. red onion, chopped3 cloves garlic, minced1-2 carrots, sliced1-2 stalks celery, chopped small7 c. chicken broth1 12-oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach8 oz package penne pasta 1 Tbsp. dried oreganoSalt & pepper. 2 eggsParmesan cheese  
Brown sausage. I added a little water along the way to prevent it from burning. Place colander over a soup pot and drain sausage into it. You should have sausage drippings almost covering the bottom of your pot. Set sausage aside.
Heat sausage grease over low-med until a drip of water dropped in sizzles. Now add onion, garlic, carrots & celery. Cover and cook for about 10 min or until veggies are tender. Be careful not to let the garlic burn. If it starts to brown too much, add a little chicken broth.
Add broth, sausage, spinach, pasta, oregano, salt & pepper. Bring to a low boil. Cover and boil 10 min or until pasta is done.

Dip out some of the broth and put it in a small saucepan. Whisk the eggs into it and return to pot. Cover and cook until eggs are set. Serve garnished with Parmesan.

Nicole's notes: 
I used Jimmy Dean because there's just enough grease for this recipe. Although we will go store-brand on a lot of things, sausage is one we don't, because of the grease factor. The Jimmy Dean sausage just seems to crumble better and there's almost no grease to drain off. Absolutely perfect for recipes like this one.  I used hot, but Italian, sage, or original would be good too. Maple would probably be weird.

For the pasta, the original recipe called for ditalini (almost like short macaronis. I had to Google it.) and some of the others called for more of an orzo or stelle, but we had nothing like that in our pantry. Snowed in, remember? I used Penne and it is yummy. I had macaroni but I thought that would be weird, and of course linguini or angel hair would not have worked. My other option was shell noodles, but I am saving those for some epic mac-n-cheese. Shell mac-n-cheese was always my favorite.

Salt & Pepper
The original recipe called for 1 tsp of salt and pepper (I wasn't sure if that meant combined, or each) but I didn't use that much. I used a combination of some broth I canned this summer, and broth made my chicken boullion. Use less salt if you’re using chicken boullion to make your broth.

Use a little more broth if you like a brothy soup. I think I'm more of a creamy soup or stew gal, because I don't like a lot of extra broth. I didn't completely measure the broth when I was making this, but I'm pretty sure it was real close to the 7 cups the original recipe called for. It doesn't have much broth now that the noodles are cooked.

 Pin it

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Apparent Project

UPDATE January, 2014: I am leaving this post up so that you can see a sample of the beautiful jewelry you can get through the Apparent Project. I did have to send the remainder of items back, however, so I cannot fill any orders from the pictures below. Learn more about how you can still help here.


To all my sweet readers, you get to help some families this week!

Nouvelle Mere on Etsy is sponsoring an Apparent Project virtual party. The Apparent Project is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization that helps families stay together in Haiti. 
Read more about the Apparent Project at their website
Did you know? Most of the orphans in Haiti still have one or both parents living? It's true. But they are orphaned because of poverty; being sent to an orphanage or to other homes because there is not enough income to support the entire family.

Here's where we can help. The Apparent Project has taught Haitians a craft that they can market, and then brings their products up to the US to sell them. And then the money gets sent back to the artisans so they can afford to keep their family together.

I currently have had a box of this beautiful stuff! It is primarily jewelry, and some purses, and Christmas ornaments and decor. I encourage you to please look through the pictures and select something for a last minute gift or something just for yourself.

Apparent Project- Beauty Changes Things from Corrigan Clay on Vimeo.

So let's look at the beautiful stuff!

We'll start with the Christmas decor

and some close-ups of those items, plus prices

You are loved!

The artisans use recycled materials, such as cereal boxes to create all the beautiful items. Do you recognize these? I spy Mountain Dew, Coca Cola and Diet Coke! :)

Some more fun stuff

The mini stockings are a perfect size to hold gift cards, jewelry or many of these beautiful ornaments

And close-ups of those items

More Christmas and some jewelry

close-ups of the earrings

Some of my favorites are the metal art

Up close

And are these angels not just precious?

Being the Nativity junkie that I am, this piece is by far my favorite.

The larger bag with green lining is about the size of a laptop 

These coin purses all have a divided pocket on the inside

Long necklace-bracelet sets

And lots of beautiful bracelets

Don't you just love the precious faces and stories on these tags?

This one sums up our whole project; the love of Christ for Haiti. <3

I will do my best to mark items off as sold as they are purchased.
There are duplicates of some of the ornaments, and I will leave them available until all of that style are sold out. 
Items will be available until Dec 31, 2013

Thank you so much for your help with this ministry, from me and from the precious people in Haiti.

Please share this with your friends. I would love to sell as much of this as I can before I have to send it back.

 Pin It