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Wedding Soup

1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds- remove all excess fat
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
1 carrot cut into chunks
1-2 celery stalks with a few leaves, cut into chunks
6 black peppercorns
1-2 garlic cloves
1 Bay leaf

In a large soup pot place all the ingredients then fill the pot
with water to cover the chicken, You should use about 6 quarts of
water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer the chicken until
it is very tender, usually about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken
from the pot and let it cool until it can be easily handled. Save
the broth. Remove the meat from the chicken and cut it into bite
size pieces. Discard the fat and skin. Strain the broth, discarding
the vegetables, and pour the broth back into the soup pot.

Add to the broth:

2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 onion finely chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
1 package frozen, chopped spinach or fresh, chopped escarole

Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add to soup 1 package of chopped
spinach, simmer a few more minutes to cook the spinach. Add chicken
and meat balls. Simmer.

1/2 box pastines (very small pasta)

Cook as directed on the box. Drain then add to the soup.


Meatballs:

1/2 pound ground, lean beef
1/4 pound ground veal
1/4 pound ground pork
2 TBS. parsley dried or fresh, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. each, oregano and basil
1 egg
fresh bread crumbs, about 1/4-1/2 cup

Mix all and shape into small meat balls about 1/2" round. Poach in
simmering water about 5-7 minutes. Remove and drain. Set aside.
You will be adding them to the soup after it has simmered a few
minutes.

After all has been added to the soup, taste and adjust salt and
pepper to taste.

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