SPINACH AND WHITE BEAN MEATBALL SOUP

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

FOR THE CHICKEN MEATBALLS

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup Panko
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
SPINACH AND WHITE BEAN MEATBALL SOUP


DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, Panko, Parmesan, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder and red pepper flakes, if using; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 3/4-to-1-inch meatballs, forming about 25-30 meatballs.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Add garlic, onion and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme and basil until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaves and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Stir in orzo and meatballs; reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and meatballs are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
  5. Stir in spinach and cannellini beans until the spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Serve immediately.

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