Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
Although this recipe calls for carrots and baby spinach, feel free to chop up a bit of whatever fresh vegetable you have to throw into this soup. I've used zucchini, a bit of eggplant....just whatever I have a bit extra of. From Bon Appetit magazine.
- 6 ounces ground chicken (about 3/4 cup)
- 1⁄2 cup fresh breadcrumb
- 6 tablespoons parmesan cheese, finely grated, divided, plus more for garnish
- 4 garlic cloves, 2 minced, 2 thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
- 1 large egg, whisked
- 3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 3⁄4 cup ditalini
- 1 cup carrot, peeled and cut int 1/2 inch rounds
- 1 cup Baby Spinach (packed)
- kosher salt
- black pepper, freshly ground
- fresh basil, chopped
- Mix the chicken, breadcrumbs, 3 tbsp Parmesan, 2 minced garlic cloves, chives, egg, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper in a medium bowl. Form into 1/2 inch diameter meatballs. (Should make about 28).
- Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat. Cook the meatballs until golden all over about 3 minutes. They will finish cooking in the soup. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add leek to a pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves; cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Add the ditalini and carrots; simmer until pasta is almost al dente, about 8 minutes.
- Add the meatballs; simmer until the pasta is al dente, carrots are tender, and meatballs are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and 3 tbsp Parmesan; stir until the spinach is wilted and the Parmesan is melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped basil and Parmesan.
I really enjoyed this recipe, and used orzo I had on hand instead of the small pasta the recipe calls for. I also used leftover turkey meatballs I had instead of making the ones listed, and am sure the soup is even more fantastic following the recipe for the meatball portion.
Really outstanding soup that is actually pretty easy to make. Although it is not Spring here, it still was an enjoyable summer soup. The meatballs are not too dense and the soup had a very light feel to it. I will definitely be making this again. Made for Culinary Quest 2014.