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Southwest-Style Wedding Soup

I turned leftover ground chicken into meatballs and dreamed up this cozy southwestern soup. Now my Italian family asks for it over traditional wedding soup. —Teena Petrus, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings (2-1/4 quarts)


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium celery ribs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1 envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1-1/2 cups acini di pepe pasta
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cubed avocado and sour cream


  • In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and corn; cook until tender. Stir in stock. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, combine bread crumbs, taco seasoning, egg and chicken; mix lightly. With wet hands, shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Reduce heat to simmer; gently drop meatballs into stock. Cook, covered, until meatballs are no longer pink, 8-10 minutes. Stir in pasta. Simmer, covered, until pasta is tender, 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and salt.
  • Serve with avocado and sour cream.
Editor’s note: To make soft bread crumbs, tear bread into pieces and place in a food processor or blender. Cover and pulse until crumbs form. One slice of bread yields 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbs.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 455 calories, 10g fat (2g saturated fat), 81mg cholesterol, 1219mg sodium, 63g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 3g fiber), 29g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Kristie
    Nov 20, 2020

    Enjoyed it, but my family did not care for ground chicken meatballs. Next time we will use beef. If you have an issue with textures, chicken meatballs are spongy and you may not care for this soup. Consider making it with beef.

  • Lauren
    Sep 1, 2020

    This is one of the most delicious soups I have ever tasted! I added peppers and onions to get more veggies in. It was really easy to make and clean up. This is a new staple in my house!

  • jj.h08
    Feb 26, 2018

    Where is the leftover hamburger?

  • rock111
    Aug 31, 2016

    This is a great addition to my soup recipes, followed the recipe exactly except for using ground turkey which I always have on hand, and broiled the meatballs, as I like that color on them. Nice twist on the Italian version!