Friday, September 21, 2007

Meatball and pasta soup...

Chicken soup is a total comfort dish for us and I don't think I could ever get tired of eating it, but we wanted something just a bit different and ended up making this Chicken Meatball Soup with Pasta for dinner the other night.

The first order of business is to get down and dirty making a bunch of meatballs. Just an egg yolk, some bread crumbs to hold things together, Dijon mustard, a green onion and a couple dashes of cayenne pepper sauce are combined to pack the welcome flavor boost to ground chicken. Once you add the chicken to the base, do your best to use a light hand to mix the ingredients together - you do want it combined, but not overworked so they become tough. I used a tablespoon scoop to divvy out the meatballs into equal portions, but you can just use a spoon or your fingers - you want them to be about ping pong ball size. If you do use your hands, be sure to lightly wet them to help keep the mixture from sticking all over.

While the meatballs bake in the oven, the soup is started by softening an onion with garlic and spices in just a bit of olive oil. A large can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, chicken broth, water and tomato paste are then added to the pot to bring a rich depth of flavor to the soup. To give the flavors a chance to intensify and marry, this mixture is left to simmer for a few minutes before adding the cooked meatballs and pasta. We decided to use orzo here, but feel free to use whatever small or tiny pasta you already have on hand. Right before serving, a cup of peas are added to heat through and the soup is ready to eat with a quick grating of Parmesan cheese for a sharp finish.

Chicken Meatball Soup with Pasta


  1. Looks very tasty and comforting Joe.

  2. Nice belly warmer for the fall and winter months! As it has hit again i the 90's here in Chicago. I will have to wait to make this one.

    The Picture on your website is mouth watering.


  3. Ooh, I'm adding this to my "to make" file, especially since I finally found some roasted tomatoes. Third store's the charm, I guess. I made a modification of your arrabiata last week--no arugula or balsamic, and using spinach fettucine. It was delicious.

  4. Nice one! Ground chicken is a bit hard to come by in this neck of the woods, but we recently bought a professional kichten machine, which has a meat grinder attachment, so we now make our own.
    Bring on autumn!
    Thanks a lot for the recipe.
    Eric, The Netherlands

  5. Cynthia - Thank you!

    John - Thanks, it was very warm today (hence the wheat berry salad!) But I know I'll be making the soup again later this fall!

    Jen - Glad you were able to find them! They are not always in the obvious spots.

    Eric - We grind our own as well. While I can usually find it pretty easily, it is quite costly!

  6. We made this last night and it was insanely good. Yum yum yum. We used turkey, since we had a half-pound that needed to be used up in the fridge. But I have a question. What made you subscribe to Canadian Living? It's just a little unusual here south of the border :) Though you're not that south of it anymore.

  7. Jen - I have a friend that occasionally sends me the magazine. So far, the recipes seem to be very good!