Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 10 mins
- Ingredients for the Soup Base:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 carrots, diced (1 cup)
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 whole chicken, cut up into 8 parts
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 10 cups chicken broth (2 whole cartons of Saffron Road’s Traditional Chicken Broth )
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups frozen or fresh spinach
- 1/2 pound orzo or small pasta noodles
- Ingredients for the Meatballs:
- 1 pound ground beef (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, finely processed
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 egg
- Pinch salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
- Small pinch freshly ground black pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- Prepare all the ingredients before cooking by chopping them ahead of time, according to recipe instructions.
- In a large Dutch oven, sauté the chopped garlic, onion and carrots in olive oil for about 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the chicken before the onions and garlic have time to brown. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 5-7 minutes per side. Flip and repeat.
- Add 10 cups of Saffron Road's Traditional Chicken Broth . I use two 32-ounce boxes of the Saffron Road Traditional Chicken Broth.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cover the pot. Let it cook for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper before beginning the next step. Make sure there's enough room in your refrigerator for this, too.
- Prepare the meatballs by placing all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the meat, parsley, bread crumbs, egg, and Parmesan cheese with your hands.
- Pull out a small chunk of the mixture and make a small ball by rolling the chunk of meat between the palms of both of your hands. Do this fast to keep the meat cold enough so that it doesn't lose shape. Place each one on the baking sheet.
- Place the sheet in the refrigerator until the chicken has been cooking for 30 minutes. Refrigeration helps to prevent the meatballs from cracking once they go into the hot soup.
- Directly from the fridge, add the meatballs one by one to the soup.
- Next, add 2 cups of water to the soup. Bring it to a boil then quickly reduce the heat back to medium.
- Let this cook for about 1.5 hours, semi-covered.
- Remove the chicken gently by using tongs or a large slotted spoon. Let the chicken cool.
- While the chicken cools, add the spinach to the soup and then the orzo or any type of small pasta you're using.
- Once the chicken has cooled, pull the meat off the bone into fairly nice size chunks. Add it to the soup and mix it all in.
- Cover and let the soup warm up again over medium heat for several minutes.
- Once you’re ready to serve, ladle into soup bowls with a drizzle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Note: If you refrigerate the soup, just remember that the noodles will plump up quite a bit so you may want to add more chicken broth or water before heating it up again. [addtoany]
Recipe by Saffron Road Food at http://www.saffronroadfood.com/2014/07/03/20572-autosave/