Italian Wedding Soup and a Blizzard?

It’s never a good sign when the news starts reminiscing about the Blizzard of 1967 when referring to our weather starting this afternoon into tomorrow.  Projections now say that our county will get up to 24 inches of snow, with 40 mph winds.  It’s February people!   I am so over winter.  I just want to be able to put our gazebo up, watch White Sox games and grill out. 🙁

Okay, here is a breakfast you never would have thought I’d eat.  I saw it in our pantry and just had a taste for it:

I had frosted mini wheats with skim milk, and a cheese stick

I ended up doing 45 minutes on the treadmill, 3.8 mph walking with a 6 pound medicine ball tossing back and forth as I walked.  It is a surprisingly good work out!

Over the weekend I made another version of Italian Wedding Soup.  I had some ground beef and pancetta to use up, so I decided to make meatballs, which then turned into this soup.  While it seems like a lot of ingredients, it’s really pretty easy to make.

Italian Wedding Soup  (printer friendly version here)

Course: main meals

PointsPlus™ Value:    6

Servings:  10 (1.25 cups)

Preparation Time:  20 min

Cooking Time:  30 min

Level of Difficulty:  Moderate


  • 1/3 cup(s) Panko crispy bread crumbs – plain
  • 12 oz 85% lean/15% fat raw ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp fat-free skim milk
  • 1 item(s) egg
  • 1 oz crisp cooked bacon
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup(s) Carrots
  • 1 cup(s) celery
  • 8 cup(s) canned chicken broth
  • 2 cup(s) canned tomato sauce
  • 12 oz fresh spinach
  • 5 oz uncooked pasta
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning


Place ground beef, panko bread crumbs, parsley, Parmesan cheese, milk, egg, and pancetta into food processor.

Mix until well combined, then roll into 40 marble sized meat balls.

Heat non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Spray with Pam and brown the meatballs, just until browned and half way cooked. Set aside.

In a stock pot, add olive oil and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes just until the garlic starts to brown.

Add chicken stock, tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 7 minutes.

Reduce heat to simmer, add Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste and meatballs. Cook for 5 minutes to cook the meatballs.

Remove from heat, add baby spinach and serve immediately.

Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.

just pulse the meat ingredients together until combined - don't overmix though

I like smaller meatballs in this soup – about the size of a marble – it made 40 meatballs.

I used to buy baby carrots because they were already peeled, but now realize the carrots with the tops on them are not only way cheaper, they taste so much better.

Tubetti is the pasta I used, but any small pasta would work.

Not only is this soup delicious, it makes a lot - and freezes well

And you can’t have soup without a grilled cheese 😀  My lunch comes in at 12 points.

My store had really good meat prices over the weekend.  I got chicken drummets for .49 cents a pound.  This is actually a WW recipe, but I need to tweak this recipe before I post it – they were good but needed a bit more flavor – Hoisin marinated sesame wings.   Dinner was 10 points.

Stats for Monday

  • 30 points
  • 45 minute treadmill workout
  • average blood sugar 123

Good news – I was able to reschedule Tony’s CT scan for today instead of tomorrow.  Hopefully after this test we’ll get back with his surgeon by the end of the week with a game plan.  Thank you for your continued support and prayers for my Tony! 😀

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  • John
    February 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Hopefully the blizzard turns out to be a dud for you. It’s been a pretty good winter weather wise here. Below normal snowfall and not bad on the temps overall. As usual all your food looks delicious!

  • Helen
    February 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Ack! Stay safe and warm Biz!

    I can’t believe you had the patience to make marble sized meatballs. Wow. I’m sure it paid off but wow.

  • Errign
    February 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    We’re supposed to get 1-3 inches today & 10-15 inches tomorrow in Northern New England…yay, but I wish it was on a day I actually had class 🙂

    I love Italian Wedding soup – yum!

  • carolinebee
    February 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Good luck to you guys in this misery!!! I am sure I’m looking out the window to the same scene as u guys :/ All i want to do in this weather is EAT!! 😀

  • Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
    February 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    We just got like 6 in. yesterday of the junk but I think it’s over now, now another deep freeze. So annoying. The snow started SO early this year that I am totally over it too!

    I ate cereal for breakfast too which was really odd, I almost never do. Must be something in the air today!

  • Sarah
    February 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I’ll take your blizzard if you take our ice storm.

  • Jenn@slim-shoppin
    February 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I’m kind of nervous about the storm too. On the today show this morning, they had Al Roker here to get ready for “the 3rd biggest storm in Chicago history!” Yikes!

    I’ve got lots of food, so hopefully the power will stay on.

    Your wedding soup looks awesome!

  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story
    February 1, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I have been dreaming of Italian wedding soup lately. Thanks for sharing your recipe! 🙂

  • Samantha
    February 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I think the storm is going to bypass our part of Delaware luckily, I hope the storm isn’t as bad for you guys as it’s being predicted!

  • Marisa @Loser for Life
    February 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Biz, your soup looks freakin’ fantastic!!!

    Praying for Tony’s CT scan today.

  • Tyler
    February 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Tony and I are CT scan twins! I had one this morning. Does he cry when he has to drink barium too? I hate it so much that I tried convincing the lady who scheduled the appointment that I was allergic to it. She didn’t believe me. Asshole.

    • biz319
      February 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      I like how they describe it as “liquid chalk!” Ew!

      • Tyler
        February 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm

        I’m totally rocking the barium farts. Yuck!

  • Shelley B
    February 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    So glad you got the CT rescheduled…hope everything else is clear.

    I saw that 1967 footage on this morning’s news and thought of you – what insane weather. You will get to stay home tomorrow, right?

    • biz319
      February 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      I hope we have a snow day! 😀

  • Charlie Hills
    February 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Cold front hit Austin over night. It was 72 degrees around 8 o’clock last night. About eight hours later it was 29. I checked a detailed temperature graph and it dropped 25 degrees in less than an hour.

    And it’s WINDY. It’s already blown part of our fence down in back and a few other sections look like they’re close to falling over right now. This is one of those rare times where they actually say “wind chill” down here. Sarah asked what that meant. She hasn’t heard that term since she was seven.

    To think it was 81 on Sunday. Apparently I didn’t move far enough south!

    • biz319
      February 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      Wow – my brother commented! 😀 I had no idea it could get that cold in Austin Charlie!

      • Charlie Hills
        February 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm

        We get ice and snow. Not often. But it definitely happens. After all, we’re still well within the northern hemisphere. 🙂

  • Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    February 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Ugh-I’m so over winter too! Fingers crossed that the blizzard isn’t as bad as the news folks are predicting. I love Italian wedding soup….it reminds me of my grandmom!

  • Heather
    February 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I love soup on cold days! And, guess what? I actually got a snow day today! 🙂

  • MaryBe
    February 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Your grilled cheese actually made me drool a little damn you!
    Plus, your blizzard is heading straight towards us. It’s like you’ve got it in for me, ha!

    Good luck today <3

  • Mari
    February 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Yums I could definitely go for some soup right now…it is snowing and icy out here…stay warm!

    and yums I love frosted mini wheats lol…it is like crack to me hahaha

  • renee@mykitchenadventures
    February 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Ya, we are in the crap for weather today and tomorrow. Kids already got a snow day today…and tomorrow is supposed to be worse! Ugh. At least there is little chance of the groundhog seeing his shadow tomorrow! haha

    That soup looks sooooo good. I never buy those “baby” carrots ( they aren’t really baby anyway…they are rejects shaved to resemble babies) occasionally, I buy the ones with the full tops…they are a real treat. Very sweet and flavorful. Otherwise, I buy the bagged whole ones….

  • Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds
    February 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Yay for being able to get an earlier CT scan! Hope that all goes well!

    I came to the same realization with baby carrots and full sized carrots. Then when I read that those so called “baby” carrots were just whittled down big carrot ends and pieces, I felt so gypped!

  • Roz
    February 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Wow…your lunch looks INCREDIBLE!!!! So happy to hear Tony’s CAT scan has been bumped up. I’m sending all good thoughts down to you both for a postive result!!! Stay warm and take care.

  • Jen
    February 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    As your *neighbor* in Michigan, we are set up to receive the same crapstorm as you guys. I am not in the mood for nearly 2′ of snow, thank you very much. UGH! Stay safe and warm!!!

  • Stephanie @cookinfanatic
    February 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    I have had my eye on Italian wedding soup for some time now, it looks so cozy and comforting! Plus I adore that little pasta – looks alot like ditalini which are my recent favorite!

  • annie
    February 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    soup looks really good!

  • Lori (Finding Radiance)
    February 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    That soup looks great! Good luck with the CT scan.

    Good luck with the snow as well. We are getting 2 back-to-back storms. A small one today, then the big one tomorrow. Eeeek!!

  • Dana - Food for Thought
    February 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I love easy soups on cold blizzardy days! The snow is supposed to hit here later today into tomorrow. Ugh!

  • Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    February 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Try and stay warm!! That soup is the perfect thing for that cold weather. It looks great!!

  • Christina (Dinner at Christina's)
    February 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    I’m so over this weather too. And J’s new job is retarded – they made him go in to “decide what to do” so I’m pissed he has to be on the road a bunch today for pretty much 2 or 3 hrs. of being in the office.

    That soup looks so freaking good! I love the idea to add pancetta to the meatballs, I’ll need to try that. The photos of it are gorgeous!!

    And the hoison wings look deliciousssss. It’s been awhile since I’ve had wings – I need to fix that!

  • Ally @ Sweet & Savory
    February 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Your soup looks wondeful…we are currently eating up some ham and potato soup I made up over the weekend. I’m totally with you on the carrot thing….I can get a bag of organic carrots for 88 cents, versus a bag of baby non-organic carrots for $1.99….easy choice!

  • Erica
    February 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    oh my gosh! Stay safe and warm over there!! LOVE italian wedding soup- so good. And ditalini is such a fun pasta. Glad you got the appointment rescheduled- am thinking of you two!!

  • weightwatchingfoodie
    February 2, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Cannot wait for the recipe for the Hoisin marinated sesame wings. Those look AWESOME. So did the soup, have to make it. YUM

    You and Tony are still in my thoughts.

  • fittingbackin
    February 2, 2011 at 1:32 am

    That soup looks awesome – I heart those little pasta shapes!

    Awesome Tony update – keep the posts coming!!!!! BTW – I told my husband the whole fiber/poo thing – a Tony classic – you two are so funny!

  • Veronica
    February 2, 2011 at 1:35 am

    I’m drooling over that soup! That is next on my list of Biz recipes to try! I’ve never made Italian Wedding Soup before. I just made tomato soup for the first time (roasted red pepper and tomato, actually) and of course, served it with grilled cheese sammies. I agree, soup and grilled cheese are just meant to be!

  • Autumn @ Good Eats Girl
    February 2, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Biz! All of these wonderful soups look SO awesome!

    We are supposed to get 12-16 inches of snow here….and the wind currently sounds like it’s going to blow my house away! I can’t believe you guys are supposed to get up to 24 inches! That’s a ton of snow! I’m definitely ready for baseball season! 🙂

  • Skippymom
    February 2, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Hope you are staying warm. I am still amazed how these storms are missing us – we got this last year, but it just never seems to stop for y’all.

    Frosted mini wheats are one of my all time favorite breakfasts for two reasons – incredibly low in sodium and 90% of the iron I need a day. I have to work hard at keeping my iron levels high otherwise I face another transfusion – yuck-o! 🙂 I know it is a lame breakfast but I do love them with fruit and a glass of juice. [Just the regular frosted ones – not the nasty strawberry or chocolate].

    Thanks for yet another recipe that will be very popular with my [italian] family. Yay – and I agree about the mini meatballs and the baby carrots. I don’t buy the baby ones anymore because they really don’t have any flavor.

  • thehealthyjunky
    February 2, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Go Tony! I hope he is mentally doing okay with this news. Stay safe in Chicago. Its a mess in St. Louis. Saving this soup recipe! Looks amazing especially on a cold winter day 🙂

  • Tami@nutmegnotebook
    February 2, 2011 at 4:01 am

    This will be a snowstorm that no one will forget!

    Your photos are amazing today! I love Italian Wedding soup and I may have some in my freezer. Thanks for the reminder!

    Stay warm and cozy.

  • Charlie Hills
    February 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    It’s Tuesday morning now (Groundhog Day — what’s it mean if he comes out of his whole and freezes solid?) and I just checked the weather update. It’s warmer in Chicago than in Austin! 17 here and 19 there. Although you beat us on the wind chill. 11 here and just 6 there.

    I definitely didn’t move far enough south.

  • Nicole, RD
    February 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I am OVER winter, too! You guys got WHOPPED with snow I hear!! Lake Shore Drive shut down!? Insanity! Stay safe & warm, Biz! The soup looks fabulous!

  • Joy
    February 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I am with you on the being over winter – I am craving the same things other than change the white to red for the baseball team