In North Dakota, it's pretty common for winter temps to fall below zero. Hearty soups like this are a must. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup savory herb or chicken stuffing mix, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cans (15 ounces each) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 6 cups)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine egg, stuffing mix and salt. Add chicken; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/4-in. balls. Place in a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake 14-17 minutes or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, in a 6-qt stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add celery, carrots and onion; cook and stir 5-7 minutes or until carrots are softened. Stir in Italian seasoning and garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
- Add beans, broth and lemon peel; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Stir in spinach and meatballs; cook just until spinach is wilted. Stir in lemon juice. Yield: 8 servings (3 quarts).
Originally published as Italian Meatball-Bean Soup in Simple & Delicious February/March 2016
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