You know, sometimes you need something hot and healthy to get you back on track, especially when the seasons are changing and especially if you’ve been out late the night before. This soup hits the mark: soothing chicken broth made hearty with egg noodles, chicken meatballs, and loads of the “superfood” kale, which delivers high levels of beta carotene, vitamin K, and vitamin C, and generally makes you feel virtuous for eating it.
If you have been making and storing Chicken Stock and Basil Pesto, this will be a cinch to whip up anytime. If not, make it on a weekend. Or use store-bought stock, but read the label and leave out the teaspoon of salt if it already has salt in it. (I don’t make my stock with salt.) Pesto is an easy way to punch-up the flavor of the meatballs, but is not strictly necessary. Feel free to replace it with your favorite meatball seasonings.
Kale and Chicken Meatball Soup
Yields 1 big pot of soup
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground chicken (or ground turkey would also work)
- 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 ice cubes Basil Pesto, defrosted
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- salt and pepper
For the soup:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 medium carrots, rough chopped
- 2 stalks celery, rough chopped
- leaves of 1 fresh thyme sprig, minced
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig (whole)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 quarts Chicken Stock, plus water if needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 handfuls of egg noodles
- 1/2 bunch of kale, well washed and de-stemmed
- Freshly ground black pepper
Make your meatballs: Mix all meatball ingredients in a large bowl until ingredients are evenly distributed throughout. It is important not to over mix the meatball or squeeze them too hard when you roll them. Gently roll the mixture into small meatballs. I got about 30.
Heat the oil in your soup pot, then add the onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, then add the celery, carrots, thyme, and rosemary sprig. Continue to cook until the onions are translucent and the veggies have softened slightly. Pour in your stock (and water, as needed) and season with the teaspoon of salt. Bring the soup to a boil, then gently drop in the meatballs. They will cook in the broth. You will know when they are done because cooked meatballs float. When the meatballs come up, add the noodles and kale and give it a stir. Pop on the lid and 5 minutes later, ta-da, the soup is done. Pull out the rosemary sprig and bay leaf before serving.
Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and cracked pepper. I like mine with crusty bread, but a nice, cheesy grilled sandwich would be nice too.