Here's a quick and hearty soup that's a tried-and-true favorite with Sherri Perfett's family in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. "My husband and two preschoolers love the combination of chicken broth, seasoned meatballs and spinach," writes this busy flight attendant who's away from home three to four days a week. "And since it freezes so well, I often make extra to be sure I always have some on hand."
- 10 cups chicken broth
- 2 bone-in chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), skin removed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- In a large saucepan, bring broth and chicken to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons cheese and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.
- Shape into 1-in. balls; add to broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until meatballs are no longer pink. Skim fat.
- Add pasta, pepper and remaining Italian seasoning to soup. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Remove chicken from bones; discard bones and shred meat. Add the chicken, spinach and remaining cheese to soup and heat through. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).
Originally published as Italian Wedding Soup in Country Woman May/June 2005, p41
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