Italian Meatballs, Fresh Greens and Vermicelli Soup
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish each serving with more cheese and parsley.