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Chicken Escarole Soup with Meatballs Recipe

This is an old recipe from southern Italy. My mother gave it to me when I was first married. It started out as a holidays-only dish...but my children and grandchildren love it so much that we have it every chance we get!—Norma Manna, Hobe Sound, Florida
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 1 hour 40 min. YIELD:24 servings


  • 15 chicken wings
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 small head (about 5 to 6 ounce) escarole
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 pound ground beef


  • 1. In a stockpot, combine the first nine ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken and vegetables are tender.
  • 2. Remove meat from bones and cut into bite-size pieces. Discard bones. Return meat to the pot. Add escarole; cook 15 minutes longer.
  • 3. For meatballs, combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Crumble beef into mixture and mix well. Shape into marble-sized balls; add to simmering soup. Cook for 10 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink. Yield: 22-24 servings (6 quarts).

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 cup) equals 115 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 33 mg cholesterol, 402 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein.