Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Once the meatballs are shaped this soup takes very little time to put together and to cook, it makes a wonderful soup to serve at a dinner party --- the success of this soup will strongly depend on your quality of chicken broth so use the very best, the meatballs may be prepared covered and refrigerated up to a day in advance and I strongly recommend doing so to blend the flavors --- the complete recipe may be doubled.
- 6 cups good quality chicken broth (see my Kittencal's Best Chicken Stock/Broth (Crock Pot Option))
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (or the zest from 1 lemon)
- 2 cups finely sliced escarole (or use spinach)
- 1⁄2 cup uncooked orzo pasta (or use 1 cup cooked rice added in at the end)
- 1⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese (more for sprinkling) (optional)
- 1⁄4 lb extra lean ground beef
- 1⁄4 lb ground pork (or use 1/2 pound ground beef)
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green onion, finely chopped (use white part only)
- 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 teaspoon seasoning salt or 1⁄2 teaspoon white salt
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- For the meatballs; in a bowl combine all ingredients together, using hands mix until well combined.
- Shape into 3/4-inch balls.
- Place onto a plate or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Pour the chicken broth in a large saucepan then add in the black pepper; bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Drop in the meatballs, then stir in the escarole or spinach, lemon zest and uncooked orzo; return to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the orzo is tender.
- OPTIONAL; at the end of cooking mix in 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese until heated through.
- Season with salt if desired.
- Ladle into bowl then sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese on top.
Oh so good. I made only a few changes and only because that is what I had. I used frozen spinach I used better than boullion - Chicken instead of chicken broth and I used more lemon zest and added a few splashed of water along with dried parsley to meatball mixture and allowed it all- unformed meatball mixture to sit in refrigerator overnight before formed in afternoon. It turned out so good.
Just served this as part of Christmas dinner and it was a hit with everyone. It's unbelievably easy to make and full of flavor. I made it two days ahead and added the spinach and parmesan just before serving. Using frozen meatballs was very helpful at this busy time and didn't affect the quality. Soooo good!
This soup was lovely. I made it exactly as written, but also used all ground beef. I love escarole, and it gave it a really authentic flavor. Also, the lemon zest was a great addition. It really brought the flavors together. The meatballs were very quick to put together and tasted great (even though I did made them while the broth was heating). Thanks for posting this - I will be making this again. Made for 1-2-3 Hit Wonders Tag Game.