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Chicken Soup with Meatballs

Serves: Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 8 cups chicken stock or top-quality chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped green beans (fresh or thawed frozen)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Coarsely grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  • Turkey Meatballs:
  • ¾ pound ground raw turkey or chicken
  • ½ cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • Pinch of freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour


Procedures:

I often make chicken vegetable soup or, during the holidays, the old standby, turkey noodle soup. But I gained a new inspiration for the soup during a trip to Italy when I tasted a wonderful chicken soup with small meatballs and a fresh grating of Parmesan cheese on top. You can add other vegetables to the soup: Quick-cooking vegetables, such as spinach or zucchini, should be added with the meatballs near the end. Denser diced turnips or rutabaga should be added earlier, with the onion, carrot, and celery. The flavorful, light meatballs are also delicious added to a red pasta sauce and served over spaghetti.
  1. For the meatballs, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, oregano, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Use your hands or a large wooden spoon to thoroughly blend the ingredients. Form the mixture into balls about 1-inch across (you should have about 36 meatballs). Place the flour in a rimmed baking sheet or other shallow pan. Add the meatballs and roll them around to evenly coat with flour. Let sit for 5 minutes, then roll around a bit more to ensure they're well coated.


  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. Working in batches, toss the meatballs in your hands or in a small sieve to remove the excess flour. Brown them well on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes; be sure not to crowd the pan or they won't brown well. Transfer the meatballs to paper towels and set aside.


  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender and aromatic. Add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the meatballs and green beans and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Taste the soup for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve.

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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