How to make Italian wedding soup in a slow cooker

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Don’t judge me, but the first time I had Italian wedding soup, it was from a can. I ate a lot of canned soup in my college days and eventually I got bored of tomato and vegetable noodle, and decided to try something new. Even out of a tin, I loved the combination of sausage, noodles, and greens in savory cheese-spiked broth. Made from scratch this soup is luxurious, complex, and delicious.
The name of this soup refers to the harmonious union of broth and greens, this soup’s two essential ingredients. Pasta and cheese are frequent additions that I find essential. I’ve also added white beans, which complement the other flavors and add creamy texture to the soup. This recipe calls for kale, but if you’d prefer to use another hearty green—endive, escarole, mustard greens—feel free.
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Italian Wedding Soup
4
10 minutes
5 hours 20 minutes
5 hours 30 minutes
3 carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 can (16 oz., 450 g) white beans
1 lb. (450 g) uncooked chicken sausage, casings removed, shaped into 1" rounds
8 (1.9 l) cups chicken stock or broth
1 teaspoon (7 g) salt
½ teaspoon (1 g) pepper
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, roughly chopped
½ cup (40 g) grated parmesan, divided
1 tablespoon (1 g) fresh parsley, minced
1 cup (210 g) orzo
In the bottom of 5-quart slow cooker, place the carrots, garlic, white beans and sausage.
Pour in the chicken stock, sprinkle in salt and pepper, and cook on low for 5 hours.
Add the kale, ¼ cup of parmesan, parsley and orzo and cook for another 20 minutes.
Serve garnished with remaining parmesan.
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Pro tip: For a richer, caramelized flavor, cook the carrots, garlic and sausage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, browning well on all sides, before adding to the pot.
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