Here we are in the dead of winter, and the weather outside is – well, if you’re in California, like me, it’s a sunny 70 degrees.
That’s not to say we don’t want comfort food on a chilly January night!
Those looking for a nice, hearty meal should try out this nice twist on chicken noodle soup. The chicken is turned into a meatball (or meatmounds, in my case) and the noodles are cheese-filled tortellinis.
There’s nothing too difficult about this homemade soup. Buy the tortellinis in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. The meatballs come together quickly, and then it’s just a matter of slicing and processing and mixing and heating.
How did my meatballs turn into meatmounds? I think it’s because I doubled the recipe, and something went awry. The mixture was too liquidy. I probably should have cut back on the amount of milk added, but once it was added, there wasn’t much I could do. I tried adding more bread crumbs, but what I really needed was more meat. Since I didn’t have any, I just went ahead and plopped the mixture onto a baking sheet and hoped for the best. They cooked just fine, and once added to the soup, no one could tell the difference (except for the odd shape).
This hearty soup is very filling, and all you need as an accompaniment is some nice crusty bread.
Recipe: Chicken meatball and tortellini soup
Adapted from Tyler Florence’s Dinner at My Place
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (2 slices white bread ground up)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 egg
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, separated
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 large carrots, sliced into circles
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 2 quarts reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound fresh refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini, thawed
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Prepare meatballs by combining ground chicken, bread crumbs, milk, egg, parsley and 1/4 cup Parmesan in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then mix until fully combined. Using a small ice cream scoop, make balls and place on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and caramelized.
- While the meatballs are roasting, prepare the soup. Set a large stockpot over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic and thyme. Gently saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add carrot, onion and celery. Season with salt and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and peppercorns, the 2 tablespoons parsley and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Once meatballs are cooked, scrape them into the pot of soup and add tortellini. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove peppercorns and bay leaf (or tell your dinner guests to keep an eye out!). Season with salt and pepper and serve.
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