New Year, New Take on a Classic Soup

Happy New Year everyone!

No quite sure which resolutions I’ll be making, but thinking of staying with something simple. Like, have more dinner parties.

Organizing RecipesI started my new year’s planning this past weekend, taking on a long-needed but oft put-aside task: sorting and organizing all the recipes clipped from food magazines. Every so often, I’d take a half-hearted approach, glancing through the pages and thinking “I’ve had this recipe for ages and never made it. Let’s change that.” And then of course, I’d never make the recipe. So this weekend was a full throttle approach: toss what I won’t/haven’t made and organize what I will make.

And today, aside from sleeping too late and accomplishing little, I put together a lovely little soup to enjoy on a crisp January day. I unearthed the foundation recipe in my organizing project: a spring minestrone that was featured last (2012) year in Bon Apetit. It’s not spring, but wouldn’t spring be lovely about now? All in all, it’s a rendition of a cool weather classic: chicken noodle. Except with meatballs, which are pretty darn tasty.

The chicken meatballs take some time and effort; please don’t be put off. They are worth it. Feel free to make this soup yours. Add greens, peas, or other vegetables, etc.

Vegetable Soup with Chicken Meatballs, adapted from Bon Apetit, 2012

To make the meatballs:

  • 1 lbs ground chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup – or slightly less – panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • Sprinkle (1/8 or less tsp) of red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Chicken Meatballs Cooking

In a bowl, combine ground chicken breast, herbs, spices, breadcrumbs, and egg. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (up to 4 hours). Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Remove chicken mixture from the fridge and roll into small meatballs (bite size). Place completed meatballs on the prepped cookie sheet.

Heat a frying pan with a small bit of butter (1 tsp). Once the butter starts to sizzle, add the meatballs to the pan, 5 or 6 at a time. Make sure not to crowd the pan, as it will make turning them more difficult. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 3-4 minutes total. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate. Complete until all the meatballs are cooked, aiding more butter or olive oil as necessary. Makes about 30 meatballs. *Note, cooking time will be longer the larger your meatballs are.

Soup - Top View

For the soup:

  • 1/2 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 large celery stalks, diced
  • 2-3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped into bite sized pieces and blanched.
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 5 cups of chicken broth
  • Parsley and parmesan to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat one tablespoon olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until translucent, about 4 – 6 minutes. Add the celery, garlic, and carrots. Continue cooking until fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the green beans and chicken meatballs (cooked prior). Simmer for another 4 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with parsley and parmesan.

Chicken Meatball Soup


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