FOR THE SOUP:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 - 2 cups carrots (I like more in mine, but if carrots aren't your thing, go with 1 cup ... I have used all types in the soup- last time I used the "carrot chips" and diced them but I have used everything from julienne to whole carrots cut up)
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 boxes of chicken stock
- 1 small rotisserie chicken, chopped OR 3 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded (I use the rotisserie chicken often because it's EASIER!)
- 1/2 package frozen chopped spinach (You can use the whole thing if you're a spinach person)
- 1 cup small pasta
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
FOR THE MEATBALLS
- 1/2 pound ground turkey (or your favorite ground meat- ground chicken or pork OR a combination of meats would work well)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 cloves minced garlic OR garlic powder, whatever you have on hand
- 1/2 - 2/3 cups of breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons parsley
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the Meatballs, place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix (I like to use my hands). Add breadcrumbs if you find the mixture to be too wet. Roll into small balls: about 1/2 inch wide.
For the soup:
- 1. Place the olive oil in a large pot and add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are softened (about 5-7 minutes)
- 2. While vegetables are cooking, prepare the pasta. I like to cook the pasta in a separate small pan because I have found that if I cook it in the pasta it soaks up too much of the broth. Cook and drain the pasta to have it ready for step 6.
- 3. When the vegetables are softened, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- 4. Roll and add the meatballs.
- 5. Add the chicken.
- 6. Add the pasta.
- 7. Add salt and pepper, to taste
- 8. Let soup simmer for 1/2 hour to make sure the meatballs cook. You can pull one out and cut it in half just to be sure.
- 9. Last, add the chopped spinach.
*You can garnish with some Parmesan cheese if you are a cheese-lover like me.