Escarole Soup with Mini Meatballs

Escarole Soup with Mini Meatballs - Just the TipI am yanking this one from the archives and re-posting with some upgraded pictures. From time to time I think of what a shame it is that some of these particularly yummy recipes I post are stuck in blog archives that will probably never get seen. This soup is just too good for that.

Today we had a lovely 70-degree humidity free day in Boston. This got me wanting to dust off my dutch oven, which during colder months is in heavy rotation, but is basically abandoned come May. I’ve been under the weather with one thing after the next over the last week+, so I went looking through my old posts for some comforting, yet light, old standbys.

Reading through the old post, I was reminded that the recipe is from the Sopranos Cookbook that someone had given me as a gift many years ago. Since James Gandolfini’s death (sniff sniff), Brian and I have been re-watching the series from the beginning and loving it. Although i am having a lot of mob-related dreams and I think I actually briefly considered blackmail as a solution to a real-life problem. Might need to cut back on The Sopranos.

Escarole Soup with Mini Meatballs
Serves 4
Recipe by Just the Tip / Adapted from Sopranos Family Cookbook

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 small head of escarole
  • 6-8 cups of chicken broth (for soup, I prefer full-sodium – either Rachael Ray or Kirkland Organic)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 pound ground veal (this ingredient, though controversial, gives THE BEST flavor to the broth. It cannot be substituted, in my opinion)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz spaghetti (I used whole wheat), broken up into 2″ pieces
  • freshly grated parmigiano for garnish

Here’s what I did:

  1. Fill the kitchen sink with cool water. Trim the escarole and discard any bruised leaves. Cut off the stem ends and toss around in the sink until all of the dirt is removed from the greens. Dry in a salad spinner or with a towel, and then stack up the leaves and cut them into 1 inch strips.
  2. In a large pot, combine the cleaned escarole, broth, and carrots. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make your meatballs. Mix all of the meatball ingredients together and shape into tiny balls, less than 1 inch in diameter. I used an ice cream scoop and then divided that amount into four little meatballs. You should end up with about 30-36 meatballs, give or take a ball or two.
  4. Add the meatballs and pasta and cook over low heat, stirring very gently, until the meatballs and pasta are cooked, about 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve with parmesan.

Escarole Soup with Mini Meatballs - Just the Tip

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