A classic Italian wedding soup recipe, with little bits of pasta, shredded chicken, spinach and of course those little meatballs!
For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, grated
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
- 1½ teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg whites
For the Chicken:
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the Soup:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced small
- 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 ribs celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 12 cups chicken broth
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ¾ cup acini di pepi or other small pasta
- 8 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
- Combine all ingredients for the meatballs and shape into small (½-inch) balls. Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, place the chicken breasts in a large stockpot and fill with water until it is covering the chicken by at least one inch. Bring to a boil and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and use tongs to remove the chicken to a large plate. Shred the chicken and set aside. Empty water from stockpot.
- Melt butter in the now-empty stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Gently add the meatballs to the soup and cook for 7 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Add spinach and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add the shredded chicken. Cover again and allow to simmer for another 30 minutes or so. You can eat as soon as the chicken is re-heated, but allowing it to simmer for a little longer allows all the new flavors to meld together.