Well, the calendar is telling me that Spring is just around the corner. But it sure doesn’t seem like that here in Seattle. And I think it’s safe to say that most of you out there, no matter where you live, are experiencing the same thing. Polar Vortex’ and Arctic Blasts GO AWAY – I’m ready to be done with you! I’m ready for sunshine and warmth and blue skies. But in the meantime, I guess there is always still soup….
This Chicken Meatball Soup is one of my favorite soups. I’ve been making it for several years now and it never disappoints. And it’s the perfect soup for this time of year. A time of year when we are all looking forward to Spring, but still faced with the reality that it’s not quite here yet. We are longing for all things bright and fresh, but still craving something warm and comforting to fill our tummies. Well, this perfectly balanced soup is just the ticket. It’s loaded with fresh vegetables and has a light tasting broth that won’t weigh you down. Yet it’s still hearty enough to satisfy the last of those cold weather, comfort food urges.
Don’t be fooled by the seemingly long ingredient list. You can make this whole recipe with just one pot, one bowl and one cutting board (I despise dishes!). And all the vegetables can be very roughly chopped (it’s rustic, right?), just keep them all about 1-inch in size.
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Chicken
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups kale or chard leaves, chopped
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1.25 lbs ground chicken (you could also use ground turkey)
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for serving)
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- In a large heavy-bottom pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion, carrots and celery and cook them until slightly softened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the kale or chard leaves and cook until slightly wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add the red wine and bring it to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato, chicken stock, bay leaf and 2 cups of water. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, add the cannellini beans and the red pepper flakes. Raise the heat to bring the soup back up to a low boil.
- Make the meatballs. In a medium bowl combine the ground chicken, Parmesan cheese, bread crumb, egg, salt and pepper. Don’t over mix. Drop rounded tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the soup (don’t worry, the meatballs will firm up as soon as they hit the hot liquid). I usually end up with about 20 meatballs. Cover and cook until the meatballs are cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in the fresh basil. Taste for salt and pepper.
- To serve, ladle into bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days.