Italian Wedding Soup

I recently adapted this recipe and we liked it a lot; serves four sparsely.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. shredded carrots
2 cloves minced garlic
few sprigs parsley, minced
1 egg
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, shredded (optional)

2 T. butter or ghee
1 medium onion, minced
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 c. stock
1/2 c. white wine (or vermouth)
1/2 tsp. dill weed
Salt and pepper to taste
3 big handfuls baby spinach (optional)

Start the soup: saute the onions in butter or ghee for ten minutes or so, over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

While the onions cook, mix all the meatball ingredients together.

Add the carrot and celery to the onion mixture, and saute for another 6-8 minutes or so, until starting to soften.

Roll the meatballs into bite-size chunks (about 40).

Deglaze the soup pot with the wine/vermouth; after a few more minutes, add the stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Skim any foam, add dill and salt and pepper. Gently add all the meatballs, bring to a simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Add the spinach, if desired, and cook for another minute, until wilted. Adjust seasonings, and serve.