Anne's Cookbook: Minestrone soup with chicken meatballs
I found a similar recipe on the Internet and adjusted it to fit my family and our likes/dislikes. Not sure you like leeks? Try them the first time and find out. They cook down so beautifully and add such a nice flavor and bouquet to the broth...even my onion-hating daughter liked the flavor of the broth and didn't try to dodge the leeks. Sometimes a yummy and warming bowl of soup is just the ticket for a meal. I recommend this one for both comfort and for wholesomeness.
Ingredients and directions for meatballs:
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1 egg
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1-2 T. chives, snipped into small pieces
- 1/2 t. Italian seasoning
- 1/4 t. oregano
- 1/4 t. basil
- 3/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. ground pepper
Mix all the ingredients together making sure to incorporate all the ingredients well. Form into small meatballs. I weighed mine for consistency of size which is helpful during the baking process. I aimed for 15 grams which is about the size of a one inch diameter meatball. Place on a baking sheet covered in foil or parchment paper. Bake for 18 minutes at 400 degrees. While the meatballs are baking, start the soup broth.
Ingredients and directions for soup:
- 1 leek, sliced thin (1/4th inch) of the white and light green portion only
- 1 garlic clove, minced or sliced thin
- 1 T. olive oil
- 8 cups chicken broth (I used 4 cups store-bought chicken broth and 4 cups water plus 1 T Chicken-flavored Better than Bouillon)
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup uncooked pasta, I used rotini (spiral) shaped pasta.
- 1/2-1 t. salt, to taste
- 1/4 t. fresh ground pepper
- Additional Parmesan cheese to sprinkle atop the soup
Heat the oil in a fry pan. Add the leek coins and saute 2-3 minutes, add garlic for the last minute. Add leeks and garlic to the chicken broth in a large pot. Add chopped carrots. Simmer. When the meatballs are done baking, add them to the soup base. Bring the soup base back up to boil. Add the uncooked pasta. Cook for additional ten minutes until the pasta is done, adding spinach the last minute to just past wilted stage. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve with a slice of crusty bread and an orange wedge and you will have a very satisfying meal.