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Chicken Meatball and Escarole Soup

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Serves 4

  • by Melissa Pellegrino from Fine Cooking
    Issue 115

Served with crusty bread, this quick spin on Italian wedding soup makes a satisfying dinner. Handle the chicken mixture gently; packing the meat too tightly will make the meatballs tough.

  • 3 Tbs. plain fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 small carrot, cut into small dice
  • 1 medium celery stalk, cut into small dice
  • 1 quart lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 3- to 4-inch sprig fresh rosemary
  • 5 cups thinly sliced escarole

Put the breadcrumbs in a medium bowl and moisten with 1/2 Tbs. water. Mix in the Parmigiano, parsley, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the ground chicken and egg and mix until just combined. Scoop out 1 Tbs. of the chicken mixture and, with damp hands, roll it into a 3/4-inch meatball. Transfer to a plate and shape the remaining meatballs.

Heat the oil in a 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and 1 tsp. salt; cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth, rosemary, and 2 cups of water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Gently add the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium low to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the escarole and continue to simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the escarole is wilted, about 5 minutes. Discard the rosemary and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with grated Parmigiano.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 220; Fat (g): 12; Fat Calories (kcal): 110; Saturated Fat (g): 3.5; Protein (g): 20; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): 10; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 730; Cholesterol (mg): 100; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is a very easy, pleasant, and healthy soup. It's a good addition to the chicken soup idea for those who aren't well, as a lot of people aren't this winter. It is still important to have interesting and nutritious things to eat!

Great recipe. We added a 15 oz. can of cannelini beans (drained), extra escarole and chicken stock and doubled the meatbells (they're great). This recipe will be one of our regular evening meals.

Great combo of veggies and meat. Broth is too thin. I would use 6 cups of broth rather than 1L broth and 2 cups of water. (also made pork meatballs for lack of gr chicken. ) Still a good first attempt.

Very quick soup also very healthy!

Very quick soup also very healthy!

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