This hearty soup recipe is from a friend’s mother who was French but wanted to meet the dietary desires of her Italian husband. She did not disappoint! It became a family favorite and one of mine now too!
- Escarole (two bunches, torn pieces)
- Italian parsley (fresh bunch, chopped)
- 2–3 stalks of celery (chopped)
- 2–3 carrots (chopped)
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1 small to medium yellow onion (quartered)
- 1 cup uncooked orzo (optional)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 3/4 lb ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 8 cups chicken broth (two 32 oz containers)
- Boil the chicken: In a pot or large sauce pan add enough water to cover the chicken breasts and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the chicken is done, about 8 minutes. Take chicken out of the water and set aside to cool (can put in the fridge for quicker cooling).
- Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, add beef, bread crumbs, egg, minced garlic clove, handful of chopped parsley and parmesan cheese. Squish it all together with your hands until it seems blended and not wet. Roll the meatballs into small balls no bigger than a dime, place on a dish, and set aside.
- Chop celery and carrots and tear the escarole. Quarter the onion and try to leave the ends intact (unless you like large pieces of onion in your soup).
- When chicken is cool enough to handle, pull apart into 1-2 inch long shredded pieces.
- Add 8 cups of broth to a large (10QT or more) pot, then add the quartered onion pieces. Add celery and carrots and stir to combine, then gentry stir in raw meatballs and pulled chicken pieces. If desired, add orzo (skip if you want a carb free soup), and then the escarole (mostly green pieces, less white). Gently stir to combine.
- Simmer soup for 15-20 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and parsley for garnish.