Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I'm easily confused

My Mother’s Tuesday Night Meatball Soup
Primi Piatti Italian First Courses That Make A Meal Copyright 1989

½ pound lean ground beef
¼ cup (loosely packed) finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
1 egg
2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

3 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
3 large carrots, peeled and trimmed
3 celery ribs, trimmed and sliced
Half a 3-pound frying chicken, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup alphabet pasta
1 cup diced fresh or canned Italian tomatoes
Grated Romano cheese

Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended. Chill the mixture up to 4 hours.

Heat the broth, water, carrots and celery in a 5-quart pot over high heat to boiling. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer, skimming the surface occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.

Remove the chicken pieces from the broth to a plate. Cool to room temperature.
For m the meat mixture into ¾-inch meatballs, rolling them smooth between your palms. Refrigerate until needed, up to 3 hours.

Pick the meat from the chicken bones. Shred as much as you would like to add to the soup. Reserve the remaining meat for another use. (The cookbook author said that his mom would sauté the extra chicken with potatoes and serve it along with this soup.)

Add the pasta to the soup. Heat to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomatoes, meatballs and shredded chicken. Cook until the pasta is tender and the meatballs are cooked through, about 6 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls, passing cheese separately.

One simple thing threw me off in this recipe. He didn't say to slice the carrots. Were the carrots supposed to be removed from the broth or sliced in the soup? I ended up cooking some carrots and celery with the chicken, then discarding those and adding more chopped carrots and celery to the broth before completing the soup.

This was good soup. Very filling. I love the flavor from the Romano cheese.

This recipe is from one of my older cookbooks, from my book warehouse days, and this is the first I've ever cooked from it. The recipes aren't bad, however, with no pictures I've just never gotten very excited about this book. And to be honest, when I first acquired this book, a lot of the recipes probably seemed more exotic to me than they do now.

On the bread front, I baked two more loaves last night. Randi asked which bread machine I'm using. It's the Breadman TR2828 but I didn't pay $99.99. I actually didn't pay for it at all - it was a gift from my husband but I picked it out at Ollie's Bargain Outlet so I know it was only $39.99. It wasn't reconditioned either, like many of the appliances they sell there. It was an impulse buy and I'm still not sure how I feel about it making the two smaller loaves, instead of one larger loaf. My plan is to eventually mainly use it to do all the work and then bake things off in the oven. I've never baked bread before so I've taking things slowly.

So far I've only made plain white bread, since this was emergency bread for my husband and I don't have any whole wheat flour on hand. It's quite a treat for us since I never buy white sandwich bread.

Okay, here's a new feature at the Cookbook Junkie - the Question of the Day. Just my way of trying to encourage more comments. Okay, today's question is:

What kind of soup reminds you of your childhood?


The Cookbook Junkie said...

I'll answer in the comments with everyone else.

We didn't have soup on a regular basis when I was growing up. Only a small variety of soups showed up when we did have soup - Chicken Noodle, Beef Noodle, Split Pea (at least once I remember Split Pea) and of course canned soups.

But I remember how special it was when my mom added cappelletti (chicken filled hat shaped pasta) to her chicken soup. We were Polish but we lived in an area that had a strong showing of Italians so you could easily pick up locally made cappelletti. I don't know what made it such a special, rare treat. Were they expensive? Maybe it was too much trouble to make the rest of the soup very often? Were they just so good that maybe we did have them pretty regularly, it just seemed as if we didn't have them often enough, because we wanted more?

I can't get good cappelletti where I live now.

Heather said...

I didn't eat soup when I was younger. I don't know why but I didn't like it. I think mostly because the soups served were tomato and chicken noodle, both of which I still do not like.
Now I really enjoy all kinds of potato soup and of course chili if you count that as a soup.

Wanda said...

The only soups I remember eating as a child were Campbell's canned tomato soup (with crackers crumbled into it) and Lipton's (?) dry chicken noodle soup. I loved the little parsley flecks floating in it. I was a rather picky child and did not like a whole lot of foods. These were frequently my lunches.
I remember seeing chunky homemade soups (chicken or beef with noodles and vegetables) that my grandmother made. They appalled me, looking like such messy mixtures, where you might get a bite of who-knows-what disgusting, atrocious food item.
Times have changed though. I can hardly bring myself to eat canned tomato soup (except as an ingredient in a recipe) or pre-fab chicken noodle soups, but will never turn down homemade soup of any kind.
Love your blog, by the way. I read it daily, and have also introduced my sister to it. She checks it daily too.

MommyProf said...

Potato soup that my german great-grandmother used to make me when I was sick.

Cate said...

Without a doubt, Cream of Mushroom soup and Tomato soup. Yum!

Randi said...

cambells tomato. I only had it when I was sick and always with a grilled cheese and fritos. And, my mom's matza ball soup. She makes it really good. I grew up in Florida so we didnt eat that much soup. Only if I was sick or at Jewish Holidays.

Randi said...

that looks like a great breadmachine, you got a great price on it.

Randi said...

btw, you should do the next sugar high friday. Its on the 10th of feb. You can get the details at taste everything once. Im sure you'd find something great in one of your million cook books.

Tricia said...

There are two soup-like things I remember my mom mking from scratch: a crockpot recipe I think of as "Hamburger Stew" and homemade chili. For most other soup, I think she used cans. About the only thing I really consider to be "comfort food" is Campbell's tomato soup cooked with milk and served with noodles or grilled cheese sandwiches.

I remember looking at soups in the grocery store when accompanying my mom, and always going "eeuw, yuck!" at the cans of Pepper Pot (it contained tripe).