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"This is a super-fun and healthy meal," says Rach. It's based on a dish from Rubirosa restaurant that she and John like to order when they are in New York City. The soup has a lot of vegetables, plus mini meatballs, shredded chicken AND pasta. Kids love it, especially the baby meatballs!
Heat oil, 2 turns of the pan, in soup pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onions, fennel, garlic, salt, pepper and bay and sweat, partially covered, 7 to 8 minutes. Add stock and 2 cups water, bring to a boil and reduce a bit to a rolling simmer.
Combine the beef with dried parsley and oregano and granulated garlic and onion. Moisten breadcrumbs with milk and add to meat along with egg and cheese. Roll into ½-inch mini meatballs and add to the broth. Simmer the meatball dumplings 5 minutes, then add the chicken and pasta and cook to al dente. Wilt spinach (or escarole) into soup. Add lemon juice to serve and pass more cheese at table.