Nona’s Italian Wedding Zuppa

I’m not Italian – but I want to be so badly!!

The reality however is, I’m not … 😦

I’ll probably continue wishing and trying to be Italian for as long as I live (…..is this weird?? – never mind, don’t answer that).

I’ve also wanted to call my grandma nona forever … nona just screams cute and cuddly … my granny is cute and cuddly … therefore she’d totally deserves the title nona. If I did call her nona though, I’m sure she’d look at me and wonder what in the world was going on in my little head.

If I explained to her my wish to turn my entire world into an Italian dream (complete with biscotti, tiramisu, gelato and pasta … and pizza … and zeppole…. and an italian polo player 😉 lol) – – she’d be more confused than ever and then probably make me eat something because she’s convinced, food makes everything better ( lol, this is why we get along so well ;)).

If I did have an italian nona though, besides always making delicious cookies and fresh pasta – – she would make me this soup.

It’s not your traditional Italian wedding soup – – she’s my nona … how could it be traditional?!?! … I put pop-tarts in cookies for heaven’s sake. The meatballs are made with chicken … but its pretty delicious none-the-less and I wouldn’t mind living out of italian fantasy by living in an entire pot of it.

Allow yourself to whisk away for a few minutes tonight from the frigid snowy winter, to a cool italian evening – with the sun just setting and ” godere la vostra zuppa” (enjoy your soup ;))

Nona’s Italian Wedding Zuppa

Meatballs:

3 Lbs Ground Chicken

3 Tbsp Fresh Thyme

3 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary

2 Tbsp Salt, Onion Powder, Black Pepper, Ground Garlic

3 Cloves Minced Fresh Garlic

1 Egg

1 Tbsp Cesar Salad Dressing

1 Cup Breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 oc. Lightly spray a large baking tray ( I used my largest cookie tray :))

Mix all of the ingredients together, until well combined. Try your best, not to over mix.

Form into 1 Tbsp Balls.

Place on baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove meatballs from oven and allow to cool.

*At this point, the meatballs can be refrigerated until you are ready to make your soup* – – orr … if you’re hungry

let’s make some soup!!

The Zuppa:

8 Cups Water

4 Cups Chicken Broth ( I used low sodium … just because – – use the fresh stuff, if you’ve got it on hand :D)

1 package Frozen Spinach ~ approximately 2 Cups

1/4 Cup Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Tbsp Black Pepper

2 Tbsp Salt

2 Cups Tripoline pasta ( or any short cut pasta)

Directions: 

Over medium-high heat and in a large soup pot, bring the water and chicken broth to a boil.

Add frozen spinach. Allow to boil for 5 minutes.

Next, add the black pepper and Salt.

Now add the meatballs back into the soup.

Add the freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.

And last but not least, add the Tripoline. Allow to boil for another 5 minutes

Then …. Mangiamo!!

Stay cozy and warm this weekend with this zuppa … and maybe share with your nona 😉

xoxox

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Chicken Lickin’ Lime Soup

I’m sick of turkey.

And I’m sick of eating leftovers! – yes, we made sandwiches, yes I made quesadillas. I even made a spinach salad and added all the left overs to it.

I got creative and now … I’m done!!

Don’t get me wrong, I had a FANTASTIC Christmas – family – friends and all the food was amazing … cinnamon danishes – beef pies – breads galore – Quiche – smoked salmon – roast beef – baked brie – goat cheese – pâté …. and that was just breakfast. Yep – – the weekend only got better and my work out totally KICKED MY BEHIND on monday!!

Between my carb loaded (but oh so delicious) Christmas weekend and the food coma that I’ll probably go into on New Years Eve – I want to do something good for my body. I want light – I want yummy … pack me with veggies now so I can scarf down some extra goodies when the clock strikes 12 on Saturday.

The more veggies I eat now - the more cookies I can eat later :$

pretty good logic huh 😉 lol 

But let’s be honest, it’s still the holiday season – so lets keep with the festive theme and kick this bad boy up a couple notches.

... Happy Holidays Sweet Hearts 🙂

oh yes – did I mention there’s a LITTLE bit of tequilla in this soup 😀 – really, do you need any more convincing?

This soup is warm, it’s hearty, it’s light (and boozy *what – who said that?!?!*) , it’s packed with veggies and ohhhh soooo delicious!!

Chicken Lickin’ Lime Soup

Chicken

2 Lbs Chicken Breast Cubed

2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Salt

1 Tbsp Garlic Powder

1 Tbsp Steak Seasoning

Directions: 

In a small dish or plate, add all the above seasonings to the chicken. Allow to marinate while you prepare all other ingredients.

Soup

1/4 Cup Tequila

7 Limes cut in half

2 Sweet Potatoes Chopped (approximately 2 Cups

3 Yukon Gold Potatoes Chopped approximately 2 Cups

1 Acorn Squash Chopped (approximately 2 Cups)

1 Medium Red Onion Chopped (approximately 1 Cup)

5 Gloves of Garlic Minced

1/2 Cup Chopped Coriander

3 Tbsp fresh thyme

1 Cup short cut pasta

1 Tbsp Onion Powder

1 Tbsp Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Sea Salt

1 Tbsp Basil

7 Cups of Water

Directions:

In a large soup pot and over medium-high heat, add seasoned chicken to pot and allow to brown. This should take approximately 7-10 minutes, you want to allow all the browning to settle to the bottom of the pan = flavour.

Next, add your chopped red onion and the limes. At this point, the juices from the limes will begin to release all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot (say that 5 times fast 😛 )

Allow to cook until the onions turn translucent – – give it about 10 minutes to do its thing.

Now for the fun part – – time to add that tequila 😀

*one shot for the pot – one shot for you 😉 *

What you can't drink - you might as well eat 😉

Once all the alcohol has burnt out of the tequila and the pot once again begins to sizzle, add the potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, so any additional juices from the limes can be absorbed.

Then, add water. Allow to boil for 10 minutes.

Remove the pieces of lime – – there should be 14 in total

* don’t forget any in the pot …. – – not that, someone may have done that or something … err – yep.* 

Allow to boil for another 10 minutes, so that all of the vegetables lose their crunch.

Add any sort of short cut pasta, in this case, I used baby shells … just use whatever you may have on hand – or omit all together.

Last, add the garlic, coriander, thyme, onion powder, black pepper, salt and basil.

Allow to simmer 10 minuets to allow all the flavours to marry each other.

Get into your comfy sweat pants, cozy up under a blanket and enjoy a big bowl of goodness.

JUMP IN PUMPKIN'S!!

Stay warm & sweet my loves

xoxox