Italian Meatballs, Fresh Greens and Vermicelli Soup

Calling this a soup is an understatement. It is chock full of meatballs, pasta and greens, making it a substantial meal in a bowl.  

Ingredients

  • 3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 2 packages Italian Style with Mozzarella Cheese Meatballs
  • 1 pound escarole (about 1½ heads), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound vermicelli or spaghetti, broken into 3- to 4-inch pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley

This soup is really dependent on a good stock or broth. Use homemade, or enhance store bought by putting the broth in the large pot and adding 1 onion 'cut in half, 2 carrots cut into 2-inch pieces and 2 celery stalks cut into 2-inch pieces (it is not necessary to peel the vegetables). Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the vegetables, using a spotted spoon, and then continue with the recipe.

For a richer cheese flavor, add 2 to 4 ounces of Parmesans rinds to the broth and simmer for 10 minutes before adding the meatballs and greens. Discard the rinds before serving.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and escarole. Return the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the meatballs are heated through and curly endive is tender, 5-8 minutes. Add the vermicelli and simmer until the pasta is almost tender but still firm to the bite (al dente), stirring frequently, about 9 minutes.
  2. Whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons cheese in a small bowl to blend. Turn off the heat under the soup. Stir the soup in a circular motion while drizzling in the egg mixture to form thin ribbons. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with more cheese and parsley.