Southwestern wedding soup

Inspired by Italy, flavored by the Southwest

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Put a Southwestern spin on a traditional wedding menu with this tasty soup. Inspired by traditional Italian wedding soup, this zesty recipe is a crowd-pleaser in any region.

This Southwestern version of an Italian classic combines just a tad of the pungent flavor of Manchego cheese with chorizo meatballs in a spinach-filled, spice-infused broth. It's delicious enough to serve at a wedding, but easy enough to make for the family.

Southwestern wedding soup recipe

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups water
  • Several reserved Manchego cheese rinds (you'll use the cheese later)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 6 ounces pork chorizo
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Texas sweet onion, finely chopped (may substitute white onion)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, stems removed and then ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 ounces Manchego cheese, grated
  • 3 tablespoons powdered chicken stock (unprepared)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano, stems removed and then ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 ounces Manchego cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg, whisked

Directions:

  1. In a large stock pot over low to medium heat, simmer the water and cheese rinds until the cheese stock is reduced to about 6-1/2 cups (about 2-4 hours).
  2. Skim off any foam that may appear.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, chorizo, egg, breadcrumbs, onions, cilantro, Mexican oregano, salt and pepper. Fold mixture until the ingredients are just incorporated (do not over mix). Refrigerate the mixture in a covered dish for at least an hour. Remove approximately 2-1/2 tablespoons of the meat mixture and flatten it loosely in the palm of your hand. With your other hand, add a small finger-full of grated cheese to the center and form a small meatball around it with a 3/4-inch to 1-inch diameter. The meat mixture should yield approximately 12 to 14 meatballs.
  4. In a skillet with vegetable oil over low to medium heat, sear the meatballs on each side for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through. If desired, you can finish the meatballs in a baking dish with 1/4 cup of water for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees F (internal temperature should be 165 degrees F).
  5. When the meatballs are finished, your stock should be done. Strain the cheese rind out of the liquid and return the liquid to the heat. Discard the rind.
  6. Add powdered chicken stock, Mexican oregano, cumin, sea salt, white ground pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper and grated cheese and bring it to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to simmer and add spinach.
  8. While quickly stirring the soup in a circular motion with a fork, slowly add whisked egg, stirring continuously for at least 1 minute. It will begin to form strands as it cooks. Add meatballs until heated through and serve.

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Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix the Fish. You can follow her on Twitter @HireHeather.

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