Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ina and Jeffrey and a match made in heaven~

One day..babysitting our darling grandsons..I watched an episode of The Barefoot Contessa that my daughter had taped... ..It was their 40th anniversary I think~

She made him Italian Wedding Soup~

How could I not try and make it?
I love that couple.. They are believably happy..and still have that sparkle in their eyes for each other~

OK.. Both my husband and I cannot even imagine liking ground turkey or chicken..we have tried..Blahhhhnd for us:(I don't know what it is w/ our in sync taste buds..but it has never been appetizing to us..

Ground pork..on the other hand.. is..
So I modified..Ground pork .. chili peppers.. our seasoned home made bread crumbs.. fresh basil.. etc etc..No dill.. he's not crazy about it in soups..some minor tweakings for individual tastebuds.

But the whole idea and taste.. even modified~

Was bon!!!!!!

I watched a show last night that was rating Ina's Back to Basics..they gave it a thumbs up..

the soup ..not being their favorite though..I learned from their mistakes..

More seasoning..only add the spinach in the last minutes:)

I used pearl cute....

I made the base.. the meatballs etc..early one AM before work.. saying to my husband who was feeling poorly..this will cure your malaise..

Unfortunately..he was still malaised....and it did not improve until now..almost one week later..Could the soup have taken one week to work it's magic? Or was it the Magic Pumpkin Pie? Or warm baths and earlier than normal bedtimes and later than usual rise times?
Keep this recipe..just in case...You already saw the pie:)

La Recette~
For the meatballs:
3/4 pound ground chicken(ground pork here)
1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed(Italian)
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs~ I used Jacque's ..seasoned croûtons.. pulverized-
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper I added chili peppers
For the soup:
2 tablespoons good olive oil(I used a treasure of an olive oil my neighbor brought me back from Italy this month~)
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
10 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars..I used pearls:)
1/4 cup minced fresh dill..I used basil and parsley and sage..and rosemary:)
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed..I used less..for tonight..will add more on the second helpings..)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don't have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.

I have tried a few recipes from this book now..and it's on my list~It was nowhere to be found where I went lately..
I just splurged though on another though..coming in one month or 2:)Recommended by Hélène..Of Cannes..Even if you do not speak French..her photos speak a universal language~I find myself going back over and over again:)

You will see the Fairytale cookbook..yes..that's the one I have on order~:)

Today..I just want to share something I think is special..yesterday I drove my husband to an appointment and waited in the car for him..I had brought a book and he a magazine..

One of the articles in his magazine caught my eye..It was about Judith Jones.. ..I read the whole article w/ interest and remembered her blog site "par coeur" memory..I typed in it so quickly this evening and was thrilled it popped up..:)

Go see..An inspiration..

I have to make that soufflé!

On a sadder note..after years of abstinence..I subscribed to Gourmet last month..thinking it would be nice to pass on to my daughters..

I was shocked to read of it's impending demise yesterday..


  1. A warm, wonderful bowl of soup can cure many ills. Sorry about your bad timing ordering Gourmet. It is so sad to see it go. I have awaited its arrival in my mailbox for many years.

  2. so glad J is better, we all know sugar makes us well, it had to be the punkin pie!

    i love italian wedding soup, only made it with pork too, yours looks delish~

  3. Tous ces ingrédients dans une soupe, ce doit être un délice bien revigorante avec le froid qui arrive
    Bonne journée

  4. Monique, I love Italian Wedding Soup and agree with you that pork is the better choice for the meatballs.

    Comfort in a bowl.

  5. We love the wedding soup here too...and I love the acini de pepe in it too!...much better than stars to little tubes...yours looks wonderful M.!
    Ahhh....I am so sad about Gourmet.
    I have been reading every month since the early 70's. It is the oldest food magazine...and now gone.
    I have so many wonderful recipes from there. A sad sign of the times.

  6. I'm so sorry J has been ill! I'm certain all of your wonderful cooking has helped him pull through :) Your soup sounds wonderful and the change from chicken to pork sounds very tasty!

    It is so sad about Gourmet. I was a subscriber for years.

  7. c'est ce que j'appelle une bonne soupe réconfortante ! je ne sais pas si je suis plus attirée par la recette ou par ta jolie assiette :)

  8. Italian WEDDING soup? That's just so very sweet :) I am sorry to hear that your J was not in the best of health. I hope he is now, with all your TLC and nourishing foods. Please send him my regards! BTW, I had to google "pearl pasta" ;) I love your soup plate ... do you collect tableware? Every dish you show us is always presented on such beautiful pieces!

  9. M... Yes those two do still have that twinkle don't they...refreshing! The wedding soup, via pork meatballs, sounds so delish...Praying J's recovery is total and he is feeling 100%...I find it hard when the men in our lives are down...Loved your previous post too...need to purchase pearl pasta! xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  10. I'm glad to hear that J is better. I think the soup, the pie, and the love that came with both did the trick!

    I'm very sad about Gourmet...

  11. I love Ina and Jeffrey too! You can tell they are still as much in love with each other as they were decades ago. Such a cute couple.

    Your soup looks yummy!

  12. Looks soo good Mme! I have made Ina's version and we liked it very much. Love your soup plates, too. :)

    I was also saddened to learn that Gourmet magazine is being discontinued.

  13. This looks wonderful, Monique. I too love Ina Garten and have season passed her on our TiVo - I always look forward to Sunday mornings as that's when I play her show. Have you tried her Indonesian Chicken dish? Hope your husband is feeling better and finished with malaise. The soup bowl is precious, so darling with the text. Sorry to hear about Gourmet and you subscribing just last month. We get Bon Appetit here, hope the same thing does not happen with the magazine. Off to check the link you've left for us all here - merci!

  14. I've not tried this but I've yet to have an Ina recipe let me down -- this will be a fall soup soon.

  15. I am so happy he is on the mend~!!!

    I drove him to all our appointments here and there and errands yesterday and he was a wonderful passenger:) I am usually the passenger in life~ Suits me fine...
    Tracie..I will look up that Indonesian Chicken..I am like Martha never met an Ina recipe I did not love:)

    Ju..I don't know if I "collect" tableware.. I have had those plates for at least 15 yrs..
    But I do know that dishes are more irresistable to me than w/ words..
    Or plain and elegant... or w/ graphics I cannot resist..that about covers very many dishes:)

    I loved you plate w/ your beautiful cake on your latest post..

    I have already apologized to my girls..saying I have way more than I need.. that one day they will find some in the most unusual places:)
    Have a wonderful evening~

  16. I wish I had seen this last night. Mr Melanger has come down with something nasty since returning from our honeymoon. I made some chicken soup but this looks far more delicious! Maybe tonight! Thank you for the adaptation suggestions.

  17. How delicious this looks. I'll have to try with ground pork. I don't like ground turkey. Hope your husband feels better soon.

  18. Thank you for the nice husband wishes~ I hope you all click through to each others all have so much inspiration for me.

  19. That looks very, very good Nana. I feel like I could just dip my spoon in and have a taste! I wish I could!!

  20. Moi je n'ai rien contre le poulet haché ...mais alors haché au hachoir à main, à l'ancienne, et pas transformé en bouillie dans un mixer ... Quoiqu'il en soit, je n'ai rien contre la porc haché non plus alors ... cette soupe me paraît parfaite ... Si, accompagnée de bains tièdes, de bon sommeil et de pumpkin pie, elle a des vertus curatives ... alors elle est juste parfaite ...

    Merci, merci pour ton gentil clin d'oeil .. je suis contente que tu apprécie mon blog autant que j'apprécie le tien !

    Grosses bises

  21. Beautiful soup and it does indeed look scrumptious. Hope he is over whatever ailed him. I'm betting the soup + pie + baths + loving wife all worked together. Maybe it was so good he dragged it on for a week just to get more?

  22. Sorry to hear your hub was feeling poorly. hope he's much better now. the soup looks so good and the photos lovely as always Monique.:)

  23. Another one here that's glad J. is feeling much better - and keeping a good thought that you don't catch it!

    The soup looks wonderful. I've tried other recipes for it, but not Ina's... yet! I have all of her cookbooks and have been extremely happy with all the recipes I've tried from them.

    With so many people sad over Gourmet's demise, makes you wonder what exactly brought that little empire down. Tough times for everyone, I guess. I think we need to have a Tribute to Gourmet day, where we all make and post about one or two of our favorite Gourmet recipes!

  24. I too love Ina & Jeffrey. They were made for one another. So glad to hear your husband is better. Men don't like to be sick.

    That's such sad news about Gourmet. It was the first food magazine I subscribed to (many years ago). It was an old friend and I'll miss it and Ruth very much.

  25. I saw this on foodgawker and without looking at the name, I knew it was yours.

    Maybe it was the bowl.
    Maybe it was the photography,
    Maybe it was the warm feeling
    I got when I saw the soup.
    Maybe I just recognized the heart
    with which you always cook and photograph.

  26. Oh my gosh you are all so nice..Jacques appreciated all the kind thoughts(he reads my blog..:) ) and I really appreciate all your nice words~

  27. Happy to hear that Jacques is feeling better. Great idea to use the ground pork. I'm of the same mind - don't care for ground chicken or beef.