The name “wedding soup” supposedly comes from the perfect marriage of all its ingredients, but we like to think it’s because the soup is so good, you could make it your one and only. This version stars bite-size mini meatballs that float in an herby, aromatic broth with chewy couscous, tender kale, sweet onion and carrot, and rich Parmesan. It’s pretty easy to see why all of this is a match made in heaven.
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Chicken Stock Concentrate
• Wash and dry all produce. • Halve, peel, and dice onion; mince some onion until you have 2 TBSP (4 TBSP for 4 servings). Peel and mince garlic. Trim, peel, and thinly slice carrot into ¼-inch-thick rounds.
• In a large bowl, combine beef*, panko, minced onion, half the garlic, half the Italian Seasoning (you’ll use the rest later), ¾ tsp salt (1¼ tsp for 4 servings), and pepper. • Form into 14-16 1-inch meatballs (28- 32 meatballs for 4).
• Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 3-6 minutes (they’ll finish cooking in step 5). TIP: Be sure not to crowd the pot. Cook in batches if necessary. • Turn off heat; transfer meatballs to a plate. Carefully wash out pot.
• Return same pot to medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil, diced onion, and carrot; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and slightly softened, 3-4 minutes. • Add remaining garlic and Italian Seasoning; cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. • Stir in stock concentrates, 3½ cups water (6 cups for 4 servings), and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer.
• Meanwhile, remove and discard any large stems from kale; chop or cut any large pieces if necessary. • Add half the kale and half the couscous (all the kale and couscous for 4 servings) to pot. Cook until couscous and carrot are tender and kale has softened, 8-10 minutes. • In the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, return meatballs to pot and cook until cooked through. Taste and season generously with salt and pepper.
• Divide soup between bowls. Top with Parmesan and serve.