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Meatball and Chicken Soup

Minestra Maritata
Serves 5 - 6


1/3-cup fresh breadcrumbs, crust removed

3  tablespoons milk

1/2 pound ground veal or chuck

1  small egg

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese

1  garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Grinding black pepper

2  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Extra cheese for sprinkling

1 densely leafed head escarole

1/3 cup orzo

6 to 8 cups chicken broth


For the Meatballs
In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs with the milk and set until the milk is absorbed.

In a medium bowl add the veal or chuck, egg, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper and the soaked breadcrumbs.  Grease a rimmed baking sheet with the olive oil and place the meatballs on the sheet as you make them.  Make meatballs the size of marbles.

Bake in a pre-heated 350°F oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Transfer the meatballs to a bowl

For the soup
Cook the orzo according to the package directions.

Clean escarole leaves well in cold water and tear into bite size pieces to make 3 cups.

Bring the broth to a boil.  Add the escarole and meatballs and lower heat to medium; cook for 5 minutes.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired.  Then add 1 cup cooked orzo pasta and stir in well.

Serve soup in bowls and garnish with grated cheese.

This recipe is featured on Show 2703 – Magic in a Pot.





  1. Dorothy Archetti's avatar

    Dorothy Archetti

    Where's the chicken?
  2. Anne Ring's avatar

    Anne Ring

    I just watched the wedding soup episode. My husband loves soups and will definitely give it a try. I have attempted to make chicken soup many times. My broth never has the flavor I'd like.
    I've always used a whole chicken and will give the thighs a try.
    QUESTION- How long do you cook the chicken?

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