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Fast and Flavorful

May 30, 2018

Fast and Flavorful

By Angie Sutton, www.momsapronstrings.com


Hearty, healthy and totally satisfying is a great description for a weeknight dinner of soup! Brimming with nutritious ingredients, each bowl will fill you up. The deliciously creamy flavor of the Mushroom Wild Rice Soup is pleasing to the palate. I found a lovely mix of cremini, oyster and brown mushrooms at our local grocery store and that really added a nice depth of flavor to the soup.

The term “wedding soup” comes from the Italian language phrase “minestra maritata” or “soup marriage” which references the marriage between the broth, vegetables and meat. I like the combination of both beef and pork in this recipe but certainly you can go strictly with pork. I had country-style ground pork sausage which gave the soup a savory aroma and taste.

Who doesn’t love to make chili at the first hint of cool weather? I love the zesty chili-style tomatoes and the distinguished flavor of the spice mix versus a packaged mix. We had enjoyed soup several nights in a row so I baked a few potatoes to deliver this dinner in another fashion. Of course you can’t have chili without cornbread so I whipped up a batch and baked it in my favorite cast iron skillet.


Italian Wedding Soup

This soup recipe is a keeper! You’ll want to clip and save this family favorite. Top with a few more sprinkles of shredded parmesan cheese and serve with a hearty crusty bread for dipping.



8 oz. lean ground beef

16 oz. ground pork

1/2 c. bread crumbs

2 tsp. herbes de provence

1/2 c. finely shredded parmesan

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil


1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 c. diced carrots

1 c. diced yellow onion

3/4 c. diced celery

1 clove garlic, minced

2 (64-oz.) boxes chicken broth

3/4 cup dry acini de pepe

6 oz. fresh spinach, torn


For the meatballs:

1. In a large bowl add beef and pork. Add in bread crumbs, herbes de provence, parmesan, egg, salt and pepper. Gently fold ingredients together with hands to evenly distribute ingredients. Shape mixture into ¾-inch-to-1-inch balls.

2. In a large non-stick or cast iron skillet heat olive oil. Add half of the meatballs and brown, turning occasionally about 5 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate. Add more olive oil to pan if necessary and brown remaining meatballs. Meatballs will not be cooked, through in this step.

For the soup:

1. While meatballs are browning, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large soup pot. Add carrots, onions and celery and sauté until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add pasta and meatballs, reduce heat to slow boil. Cover and cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pasta will be tender and meatballs will be cooked through. Add spinach, cover and cook about 1 minute longer.


Mushroom Wild Rice Soup

This soup can have a mild flavor if you select white mushrooms or a deeper, hearty flavor with a mix of brown and cremini mushrooms.


1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 c. diced carrots

1 c. diced celery

1/2 c. diced white onion

12 ounces mushrooms, sliced

4 cups chicken

1 (4.3-oz.) box long grain and wild rice with herbs

1 cup heavy whipping cream

salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large soup pot heat olive oil. Add carrots, celery and onion and sauté begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add mushrooms, gently folding into vegetable mixture, and sauté 5 additional minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil.

2. Add rice and seasoning packet and stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until rice is done. Stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Everybody Loves Chili

There’s just something about the combination of seasonings in this recipe that everyone loves. Serve it over a baked potato for a change of pace! Top it off with shredded cheese and sour cream.


1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 c. diced yellow onion

1 clove garlic, finely minced

2 (14.5-oz.) cans zesty chili-style tomatoes

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1/2 c. water

2 Tbsp. chili powder

2 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. paprika

2 tsp. cocoa powder

1 tsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3 (15-oz.) cans mixed chili beans


1. In a large soup pot heat olive oil. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes, then add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Add beef and cook stirring occasionally until beef has browned. Drain if needed.

2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 1/2 cup water, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in chili beans. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Apron Strings Tips: Simmer up to an hour longer or let it simmer in a slow cooker on low for up to 4 hours to deepen flavor.

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