When I was in college there was a local pizza joint that had Italian Wedding Soup. I had never had it before, and considering I grew up in a small Wyoming town that lacked an Italian restaurant, that wasn't much of a surprise. But, I feel in love with the soup that was a combination of stock, meatballs, spinach and rice. I have made it many times through out the years but I had to adapt it so it was paleo. Still just as good...maybe even better.
1 lb. each ground beef and ground pork
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 c. almond breadcrumbs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
5 ounces baby spinach or other soft green (arugula, escarole)
Mix the meat, eggs, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper together. Form into meatballs and set aside until you are ready to put them in the soup. I usually make them the size of ping pong ball.
Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are tender and starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Then add a Parmesan cheese rind. (I save mine and put them in the freezer until I need them for soup. If you are strict Paleo, add 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast.) Add the 8 cups chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
Add the meatballs gently one at a time.
Allow the meatballs to cook over a gentle simmer until they are done, about 10-15 minutes.
Add the spinach and then salt and pepper to taste. The soup can then be served immediately or cooled and then put in the fridge until the next day. Soup is good the first day, but it is great the second!