What can I say about this incredibly comforting, delicious soup? The flavors marry together so beautifully you truly realize how perfectly the name fits. In addition to the traditional meatballs, I decided to cook up some oxtails. If you have never tried oxtails, don’t be afraid–they have a massive amount of flavor and are loaded with fat and collagen, creating a super rich, soul-nourishing base for the rest of the soup. You may not see oxtails in the normal meat case. I had to ask the butcher at my local grocery store to prepare some for me and he was happy to oblige. If you can’t find any oxtails you can use beef necks or short ribs as well. Now these cuts normally take hours to get to fork-tenderness we want for this recipe but our trusty Instant Pot does the job in 50 min. Horray! That means you will be eating this in no time at all!
For the soup base:
2 lbs oxtails
4 cups stock
1/2 onion, very roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
For the meatballs:
1 lb ground beef (grass-fed if possible)
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 cup pork rinds, crushed
2 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
1/4 onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
For the soup:
2 cups escarole, chopped
1/2 cup cauliflower, riced
2 tbsp. parmesan, grated
Alright! Let’s do this!
Grab your Instant Pot and throw in the oxtails, stock, onions and salt and pepper. The onion should be cut into big pieces because we will end up removing much of them later on. Right now, they are to add some flavor to the base. If you really want to spend some extra time searing the oxtails first, please rock that out but time is precious when it comes to getting this soup into a bowl and slurping it down so I skipped this step. And let me tell you, I had zero regrets.
For stock, you can literally use whatever you have on hand: veg, chicken, or beef. I used chicken.
Place the lid, turn the vent to closed and set the pressure cooker on high for 50 min.
While the oxtails are cooking, let’s make the lovely little meatballs.
Just add all meatball ingredients into a bowl and combine. You can do this in a single step ooooorrrr you can first combine all ingredients except the meat and then add it in. I have tried both ways and lean towards waiting to add the ground beef because I feel like it ultimately combines everything more evenly.
Form little 1 inch balls. Can you see how pretty these already look?
Once the pressure cooker is done, wait 15 minutes and then, very carefully, use the quick release vent. Remove the lid.
This is what you should see. Can you see how glossy it looks? That, my dears, is from all the fat cooked off the oxtails.
Remove the oxtails and most of the onions from the pot. The meat should be very tender by this point. If you cannot easily push a fork through it, they need to cook longer. I would give them 10 more minutes of pressure cooking. Take out the extra fat pieces from the pot with a slotted spoon, then use a skimmer to get any floaty fat bits from the surface.
Allow the oxtails to cool down a little. Using two forks, begin to pull the meat from the bone and shred, shred, shred. Discard the fat parts.
When you have shredded all the meat, stick it back on into the pot.
(I would recommend you give the soup a taste at this point. You will thank me)
Carefully add all the meatballs into the pot and set it to the medium sauté function. Cook the meatballs until they float to the surface, about 10 minutes.
While the meatballs are cooking, chop up your escarole. You could also use curly endive, kale or even spinach.
Once the meatballs are ready, add the escarole and cauliflower rice. Traditional Wedding Soup uses pastina,, which is a tiny pasta. So keto’ing this up by replacing the pasta with cauliflower rice seemed perfect. And it was.
Cook for another 10 minutes.
At this point, the soup is absolutely ready to go. You could serve this right now and have a wonderful dish. But I am going to add one more step to kick this soup into awesomeness.
Take an egg and beat it well. Add in 2 tbsp. of grated parm and mix it into the egg.
Then, using a slow, steady stream, whisk the egg mixture into the soup. This adds another layer of flavor and texture that is divine.
Ladle the soup into a bowl and top with more parmesan cheese. And don’t feel bad if you go in for a second helping because, although this soup is very decadent, it only has 1g net carbs per serving!! Yep. That’s right.
So eat it up!!