Sunday = soup day, we made this early in the day and enjoyed for lunch. Knox came back for “one more” meatball 5 times before they were added to the soup- they are SO GOOD. We always always reserve our chicken carcass and freeze them so we can easily make our own broth anytime we need it. So I started by throwing that together ( linked below). While the stock came to a boil, I prepared and baked the meatballs. Then when I had another moment between parenting and life- I chopped the soup ingredients and set aside to wait for their big moment. It’s more involved, but this is what the weekends are all about! I would easily make this meatball recipe solo any day, you can use ground chicken or pork ( chicken sausage too)- we used what we had- which was beef and they turned out delicious.
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
8-10 cups homemade chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta such as tubetini
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
1 Parmesan rind
extra chopped fresh parsley leaves and parmesan to serve
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the meatballs, place the ground beef, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine well with your hands. Pinch off a small amount to roll small 1 -inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 70 meatballs. They don’t have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and reduce for 3 minutes then add the chicken stock and Parmesan rind, bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 10 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Then add the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and additional parsley and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.