Escarole and Mini Meatball Soup: A Perfect Dish for Chicago’s Epic “Anti-Blizzard of ’16.”

Escarole and Mini Meatball Soup: A Perfect Dish for Chicago’s Epic “Anti-Blizzard of ’16.”

Escarole and Mini Meatball Soup: A Perfect Dish for Chicago’s Epic “Anti-Blizzard of ’16.”

 

Sure, so the blizzard we Chicago folks had been so severely and continually warned about this week didn’t exactly amount to quite as much fuss as predicted.

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Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that the mere skim-coating of snow outside didn’t put us in the mood to hug a warm bowl of soup. Especially one with rib-sticking mini meatballs, pasta, and escarole.

I make soup a lot. Ask anyone who knows me.

Well, go ahead, ask ’em . . .

I’ll assume you just did as you were told and got confirmation. Let’s move on.

I love the ease of a one-pot meal as well as the creativity you can use to modify soup recipes as you go along. This particular recipe, however, is one I’ve been making for years as is, which is unheard of for me, but one simply does not mess with perfection.

Here’s how perfection in a bowl comes to life.

WAIT!!! I almost forgot! PLEASE, for the love of all things holy, Chicago folks, prepare yourselves for the SEVERE HEAT WARNING that has been issued for this weekend! TEMPERATURES IN THE CHICAGO AREA MAY REACH AS HIGH AS (Are you sitting down? Do you have a fan at the ready? Even one of those handmade folded jobbies that you turned your church bulletin into last August will do.) THE LOW 50’S, and we all must do our utmost to be PREPARED!!! 

Sorry, I would have felt utterly negligent if I hadn’t passed on news about the latest weather crisis some of us are facing.

Okay, now we can proceed to our soup creation since everyone has been forewarned that there will be atmospheric conditions of some sort outside today.

 

Recipe courtesy of: Epicurious.com

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1/2 head large escarole (about 1/2 pound)

1 1/2 large carrots, chopped

12 cups chicken stock

4 ounces ditalini or tubetti or spaghetti broken into bite-sized pieces

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Meatballs:

1/2 pound ground beef or veal

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/4 cup very finely minced onion

1 large clove of garlic, minced

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

Trim the escarole and discard any bruised leaves. Cut off the stem ends. Separate the leaves and wash well in cool water, especially the center of the leaves where soil collects. Stack the leaves and cut them crosswise into 1 inch strips. You should have about 4 cups.

Combine the escarole, carrots, and stock in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until the escarole is almost tender – about 30 minutes.

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To make the meatballs

Meanwhile, combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, cheese, onion, garlic, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Shape the mixture into tiny balls, less than an inch in diameter.

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To assemble

When the escarole is almost tender, stir in the pasta and return the soup to a simmer. Drop the meatballs into the soup. Cook over low heat, stirring gently until the meatballs and pasta are cooked – about 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a hunk of Italian bread for dunking.

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And here’s the printable version.

Enjoy!

Mini Meatball Soup

Serves 6
Website Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head large escarole (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 1/2 Large carrots (chopped)
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 4oz ditalini pasta
  • 3/4 cups Parmigiano-Reggiono cheese (freshly grated/separated)
  • 1/2lb ground beef
  • 1/2 plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup very finely minced onion
  • 1 Large clove of garlic (minced)
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1
Trim the escarole and discard any bruised leaves. Cut off the stem ends. Separate the leaves and wash well in cool water, especially the center of the leaves where soil collects. Stack the leaves and cut them crosswise into 1 inch strips. You should have about 4 cups.
Step 2
Combine the escarole, carrots, and stock in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until the escarole is almost tender - about 30 minutes.
Step 3
Meanwhile, combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, cheese, onion, garlic, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Shape the mixture into tiny balls, less than an inch in diameter.
Step 4
When the escarole is almost tender, stir in the pasta and return the soup to a simmer. Drop the meatballs into the soup. Cook over low heat, stirring gently until the meatballs and pasta are cooked - about 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a hunk of Italian bread for dunking.

Written by Becky


Website:

3 Comments
  • Hi Becky…Have a little compassion, won’t you, on poor desperate Tom Skilling? After all he needs to justify the minutes they allot him on WGN, so if nothing much is brewing, he is happy to spin his own take on whatever is out there. I usually feel pretty sorry for him, trying to fill the time with exciting weather news when all that is apparent are clouds and a little breeze. However, this week made me MAD! One of my favorite shows here…Myra Loris, an historian… was cancelled, due to Skilling’s dire forecast. Fie on him! Your mini-meatball soup looks terrific. Why don’t I muster up some energy to cook some and freeze some? When you come up with that answer, let me know, huh? Keep ’em coming. YLM

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  • Patty from MMC says:

    So thankful that this wasn’t Snowmageddon or Chiberia for you all. The last few winters were enough for the entire 21st century! Today might make it to 70 here. A beautiful day for my granddaughter’s 2nd birthday party!


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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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