I am submitting this post to Branny’s Souper Bowl For every entry she receives, she’ll donate $1.00 to the ASPCA! She knows how important the work they do is – and how special pets are to their owners.
I thought this soup was fitting one to represent how much my husband and I love our dog. So much, that he was the ringbearer in our wedding. You never would have expected that I was the same girl, who as a child - would scream and cry if a dog came within 100 feet of me – had a dog in her wedding! I was deathly afraid of dogs – and honestly I never ever wanted to have one anyway. So of course, I fell in love with someone who hardly ever lived without a dog in his life. For years, he would tell me how much he wanted a dog – and I just brushed him off. I hardly know how it happened – but I suggested we go look at some puppies – and what I didn’t know at the time is that – you can't just go “look” at puppies (you end up taking one home with you!). That is exactly what happened to us. And it’s changed my life for the better in so many ways. The excited greeting I get every.single.time I come home, the warm cuddles on the couch, kisses when he jumps into bed with us, dropping a toy at my feet when he wants to play, falling asleep at the crook of my knees when I take a nap, unconditional love that I’ve never gotten before (since he is my first dog!). I’ve even told my husband – I can’t imagine my life without a dog – ever again.
Back to the soup – this is definitely a keeper. It was easy too – especially if you make the meatballs in advance. Super fulfilling and nutritious. Enjoy!
for the meatballs:
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1/2 lb. mild chicken Italian sausage (casings removed)
- 2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or 1 Tbsp. dried
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp. milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt and black pepper
for the soup:
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup minced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots)
- 3/4 cup diced celery (2-3 stalks)
- 8 –10 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup small pasta (I used Acini di pepe)
- 7 oz. baby spinach, washed and trimmed
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. For the meatballs: Place the ground chicken, Italian sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl. Mix gently until well combined. Form the mixture into 1- to 1 1/4-inch meatballs and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned, flipping over meatballs about halfway though baking. Set aside.
3. For the soup: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until softened, 5-6 minutes.
4. Add the chicken broth and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6-8 minutes or until al dente. Add the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 additional minute. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics by Ina Garten