Ooooh, I loved this soup.
This is one of those recipes that I really enjoyed while we were eating it for dinner, but I’ve kept thinking about it since we had it. It’s stuck with me. Actually, what’s stuck with me more than anything are the wonderful little garlic-chicken meatballs that float around this perfectly Springy soup. Just knowing that I get to write about them today is making me wish I had some leftovers to munch on.
With that, let’s get this Spring soup party started!
First things first, I got those tasty little meatballs in order. With my hands, I mixed together some ground chicken, seasoned breadcrumbs, egg, minced fresh chives, grated Parmesan cheese, minced fresh garlic, and some salt and pepper.
Once everything was combined, I rolled the mixture into tiny meatballs. These need to be one-bite meatballs, so no bigger than an inch around.
Once they were ready, I chopped up my veggies, and then got going on my soup.
I browned the meatballs in a pot in a little bit of olive oil.
See? Don’t they already look good? OK, not so good yet…they’re raw in the middle. Stick with me.
Once the meatballs were all browned and golden, I removed them from the pot, and set them aside. Then, I added some sliced leeks into the pot and let them sizzle away for a couple of minutes.
I added some thinly sliced garlic, and gave that a good stir, and then added some chicken broth to the pot.
I brought the broth to a boil, and then added in my sliced carrots and Ditalini pasta. Ditalini is a small, tube-shaped pasta that it traditionally found in Minestrone soup. It’s quite easy to find in most grocery stores. You could substitute any smaller pasta shape, though.
I let the pasta and carrots cook for a while, and then I added the meatballs back into the soup to let them finish cooking.
After a couple of minutes, I stirred in some grated Parmesan and a heavy handful of baby spinach.
Once the cheese was melted in, and the spinach had wilted a bit, it was ready to serve up for dinner, alongside a salad and some good, crusty bread for dipping.
Who says warm cozy soup has to go away when Winter does? This meal is perfect for a rainy Spring day, and those meatballs will knock your socks off.
SPRING MINESTRONE WITH CHICKEN MEATBALLS
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 1/2 lb. ground chicken
- 1/2 cup dried seasoned breadcrumbs
- 6 Tbsp. grated Parmesan, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, 2 minced and 2 thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- 1 large egg, beaten
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 leek, white and pale green part only, sliced into thin rounds, washed thoroughly and dried
- 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup Ditalini pasta, or other small pasta shape
- 1 cup 1/2 inch sliced carrots
- 1 cup packed baby spinach
- chopped fresh basil, more Parmesan for garnish
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, 3 Tbsp. Parmesan, 2 minced garlic cloves, chives, 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper with your hands until well combined. Form the mixture into small meatballs, no bigger than 1 inch.
- Pour the olive oil into your soup pot. Heat over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden on all sides. Remove the meatballs from the pot to a plate and set aside.
- Add the sliced leeks to the pot. Stir and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sliced garlic to the pot, and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add the sliced carrots and the pasta to the soup. Cook until the pasta and carrots are just about cooked, about 8 minutes.
- Add the meatballs back into the soup to finish cooking, about 3-4 minutes more.
- Add the spinach and remaining Parmesan. Stir until spinach starts to wilt. Season with salt and pepper.
- Garnish with fresh basil and more Parmesan cheese.