By Joe Drozda and Bob Bley
As we said last week, temperatures are changing due to the lessening of sunlight in the fall and tailgaters need to wear layers of clothing that can be worn to stay cool in the heat of the day and warm when out of the sun. All too soon, however, fall temperatures drop to cool, and cold and tailgaters need to be more serious in their layering.
The base layer, next to the skin, should be wool (like long johns) rather than cotton because cotton absorbs perspiration and thus keeps your skin cold. The next layer, the insulating layer, helps retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Natural fibers such as merino wool sweaters and shirts offer soft, reliable warmth and keep on insulating even when wet. Windbreakers are necessary for blustery days.
In cold weather, there’s nothing better that soup and here’s a very easy soup to make that will bring all tailgaters back for seconds. We featured this recipe a couple of years ago, but have made some improvements over time.
Italian Wedding Soup
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup diced onions
1 cup chopped carrots (1/4 to 1/2 inches chop)
1 cup chopped celery (1/4 to 1/2 inches chop)
10 cups chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cup small pasta
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
10 oz. bag baby spinach washed and trimmed
24 oz. bag Johnsonville Classic Italian Style Meatballs (pre-cooked)
Preparation: Pre-heat oven to 350. Dice onion, carrots and celery and set them aside, mixed, in a bowl. Wash spinach, cut off the stems and set aside. Bake meatballs according to the package directions. When meatballs are done, cool them enough to then cut into halves.
Put olive oil into a heavy large soup pot on medium low heat and sauté onion, celery and carrots until soft (5 to 6 minutes). Stir veggies occasionally and add the wine and chicken stock as you bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the pasta and cook until it is tender (6 to 7 minutes). Add the dill weed and meatballs and cook for 1 minute; then add the spinach, stir and cook for another minute. Cool soup on your deck and then refrigerate overnight. On game day, heat soup on the stove and pour it into a pot for transporting and reheating at the game. This is great for cold weather.
This is ready to serve with grated parmesan cheese on top. It will make 10 good-size servings.