Monthly Archives: April 2013

Insanely Delicious Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

This is one of my tried and true soup recipes and frequent request at Sunday family soup lunches. It is so delicious and even better with slices of crusty delicious homemade bread.

Debbie’s Italian Wedding Soup

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 pounds sweet OR hot Italian sausage (find it w/o casings-much easier!)
1 package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
3 clove garlic, pressed
3 Tablespoons butter
3 (three) 32-oz. boxes chicken stock
1/2 large package chopped frozen spinach
1/2 cup ancini de pepi (tiny pasta used n frog eye/ambrosia salad)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram
Sale and fresh ground pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: Dash crushed red pepper flakes, to taste if you aren’t using hot Italian sausage

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:
In a microwave safe bowl, break up sausage and cook 3 minutes at a time on high, chopping and stirring meat between cycles until cooked. While cooking the sausage, in a large heavy stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat, or in a slow cooker on high, melt butter and sautee mushrooms until soft. Add onion and garlic and stir to coat. Add stock, spinach, oregano, marjoram and cooked sausage. Stir in pasta and season with salt and pepper to taste and optional red pepper flakes.

Bring soup just to a boil stirring occasionally (to keep pasta from sticking) and reduce heat to low (slow cooker reduce to Low) Stove top, simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Slow cooker for 3 hours.

Serve soup with Romano or Parmesan cheese. Keep the red pepper flakes on hand for those who want it spicier! A good loaf of crusty bread and or a big spinach salad is the perfect addition to this yummy soup!

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Almost Mad Sourdough

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Almost Mad Sourdough

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 cups unbleached AP flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon quick/rapid rise yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sour salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sourdough starter (see HERE for instructions)
  • 2 large eggs (one for dough-one for egg wash)
  • Sea salt or Kosher Salt

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, salt, and dry yeast. Stir in milk, honey, softened butter and 1 lightly beaten egg. Add starter and sour salt. Mix in flour gradually. Dough should be still be sticky. ((Not glob to your fingers sticky)
  2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Yes, you read that right. Is necessary to obtain the proper texture of your baked bread. Or let your machine do the work for you. 5-10 minutes in a large mixer (Kitchenaid or Cuisinart stand)
  3. Place in a greased bowl, turn once to oil surface, and cover. Allow to rise until doubled in volume.
  4. Punch down, and let rest 15 minutes. Shape into two loaves. (Round or oblong for artisan loaves or use greased loaf pans) Place on a greased sheet pan. Allow to rise 30 minutes to an hour or until doubled.
  5. Score the loaves, diagonal, lengthwise, crosswise, hashtag; whatever you like. Brush egg wash over tops of loaves and sprinkle tops with a little Sea or Kosher Salt.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25-30 minutes, or till done golden brown. Sift a small amount of flour on loaves for that beautiful sourdough finishing touch.

**NOTE– Sourdough starter takes around two weeks to prepare for use. The link to the blog Yumarama.com is a very concise set of instructions on preparing a starter. I wish I had found this before I started mine. Much easier and More understandable. For family here in town, I can save you the time of starting your own by sharing the starter I ladle off every other day or so to prevent a sourdough starter takeover.

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