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Meatball Soup

Meatball soup is one of my choices for weekend cooking. I make enough so that it can also make an appearance on the table mid-week served with melted mozzarella cheese sandwiches. Saving time: Keeping a container of grated cheese in the refrigerator eliminates a step in this recipe.

Serves 6 to 8


2 tablespoons milk

1/4 pound ground beef chuck

2 teaspoons freshly grated Pecorino cheese

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 scant teaspoon ground cloves

2 quarts homemade or canned low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup pastina or other small soup pasta such as stelline or orzo


Combine the bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium-size bowl, mix the chuck, cheese, lemon zest, salt, and cloves just enough to combine the ingredients.  Gently mix in the bread-crumb-and-milk mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Form tiny meatballs using about ½ teaspoon of the mixture and roll each ball between the palms of your hands.  To keep your hands from sticking, dip them in water occasionally.

Place the meatballs in an 8-inch baking pan or dish; bake them for 6 to 8 minutes, then remove them form the pan with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper-towel-lined dish to drain.

Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a pot. Stir in the pastina and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes.  Stir in the meatballs, lower the heat to medium, and cook about 3 minutes longer.  Serve immediately with additional grated cheese if desired.

NOTE: The meatballs can be made and frozen after cooking for future use. They'll keep for several months. Other broths, such as beef, veal, and vegetable, can also be used.


  1. Anita Walton's avatar

    Anita Walton

    Just add escarole and you've got wedding soup!
  2. andi's avatar


    Bread crumbs are mentioned in the video and referred to in the recipe, but I don't see them in the ingredients list. Just curious as to how much?

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