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This is my Calabrian grandmother’s version of Italian wedding soup. It’s sublime comfort food!
Remove skin and fat from chicken pieces and rinse under cold water. Place in a large pot (see note below about pot size) with 4 quarts water and bring to a boil, skimming the foam off of the surface. Once boiling, reduce heat and cover. Let it simmer for 1.5 hours.
While it’s going, make the meatballs (recipe below).
After 1.5 hours, remove chicken from the broth and let chicken cool slightly. Add vegetables (carrots, celery, onion, escarole) to pot, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove chicken from bones and chop or shred into bite size pieces. After 15-20 minutes of simmering add meatballs (recipe below) and chicken to pot. Simmer another 15-20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked. Season to taste.
Bring another pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. When it’s done drain off the water and add pasta to soup. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano. I like it with fresh Italian bread.
Notes: You need a big pot for this. I have a 7.25 quart Dutch oven that I use that works perfectly. A 6 quart would probably work as well, although it will be full! Leftovers freeze and reheat well, but the escarole can get a little limp after being frozen.
For the meatballs:
In a large bowl mix all meatball ingredients thoroughly (by hand is best) then roll into 1/2 – 3/4 inch balls. Set aside until you are ready to add them to the soup.
Perfect rainy day soup and quick enough for mid-week supper! Great as a first course or as an entree with a nice spring mix salad and some wonderful crusty bread. And don’t forget about the rest of the bottle of white wine.
Collards, black-eyed peas and smoky bacon make this delicious take on Hopping John soup.
Loaded with light and fresh flavors, Chicken Pho is a fun twist on the same-old-same-old bowl of chicken noodle soup. The broth is best made ahead of time, in either a slow cooker, or on the stove top. Then allow it to cool completely and skim off any congealed fat. The poached chicken and rice noodles can also be made ahead for time saving purposes.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!