Saturday, April 21, 2018

Spring Vegetable Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs #SoupSaturdaySwappers

We are celebrating Spring with Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla this month at Soup Saturday Swappers.

I wish I were celebrating Spring for real.  As I write this post we are having snow flurries here in Michigan.  It is April 17th.  I don't know that Spring is ever going to Spring.

The only good thing is that our group is sharing a slew of soup recipes today that will help keep me warm as I dream of Spring springing.

The soup I am sharing with you today is a wonderful celebration of Spring.  In fact, I first made it as the first course for our Easter dinner.  Not this past Easter but the previous Easter of 2017.  I'm not sure why I didn't share it with you at that time but.....better late than never.  Perhaps it was providence because it fits this months Soup Swapper theme perfectly.

I ground my own chicken to make the meatballs for this soup but you can certainly buy ground chicken or even ground turkey at your grocers.   I just happened to have a lonely chicken breast in the refrigerator so I used it.

The chicken meatballs really are the star of this brothy soup chock full of baby spinach, carrots and pasta.  I found this recipe in the April 2012 issue of Bon Appetit and have made it several times with great results.  

You can use any Spring vegetables you have on hand.  I often add peas, zucchini and/or summer squash with great results.  Use any small pasta you have on hand.  I used stars in the soup pictured above but have used larger, small pasta and was happier with the results.

Please stop by and see the other Spring Soup offerings linked at the bottom of this post.  You will be glad you did.

Interested in joining us on the third Saturday of each month?  Just leave a comment below with a link to your blog and I will be happy to add you to the group.

Spring Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs 
slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

6 oz. ground chicken
1/2 c. Italian seasoned dry breadcrumbs
6 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. olive oil
1 leek, white and light green, well washed, sliced into half moons
7 c. chicken broth, store bought or homemade
3/4 c. small cut pasta
2 carrots, scraped and sliced
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves

Combine the ground chicken, bread crumbs, 3 T. Parmesan, 2 cloves garlic, egg, salt and pepper.  Form into 1/2" meatballs.  I used my cookie scoop.

Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook until golden brown all over, 3-5 minutes. Remove from pot to a plate and set aside.

In the same pot, add the leek.  Cook and stir for a minute or two and then add the remaining two cloves of garlic.  Cook and stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Stir in the pasta and carrots.  Cook for about 8 minutes.  Add meatballs and cook for another 3-4 minutes until pasta is al dente, carrots are tender and meatballs are cooked through with an internal temperature of at least 165*.  

Stir in the spinach and the remaining 3 T. of Parmesan cheese.  Taste and season with additional pepper, if needed.  Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.  Print Recipe

More Spring Soups


  1. You have my sympathies. We had snow last weekend, and I was walking around ready to bite people... seriously.. Spring, I NEED YOU!

    love your soup, in fact I would not mind a big serving for my lunch, as it is raining and cold outside (sigh)

    1. I am happy to report that we have had 3 days of sunshine now. Hope the weather warms up for you soon, Sally.

  2. Meatballs! They make soup so filling! That's important at my house.... Great flavors in your soup.

  3. Look at you grinding your own chicken for meatballs! This soup sounds delicious. I love the leeks and the spinach.

    1. It's a wonderful soup Karen and the Kitchen Aid makes grinding your own meat a whiz. I often make my own ground beef and pork sausage as well.

  4. Soup is so delicious and filling, like the way you home ground the chicken to mince it.

  5. The other day I was contemplating what kind of soup I could make using spinach...I think I just found the answer to that question! Looks fabulous!!!

    1. Enjoy Colleen. Dinner for us tonight is a Spinach Tortellini Soup.

  6. So sorry that it's still winter for you! I guess it was wishful thinking on my part. But this looks delicious.

    1. Actually today was gorgeous. 70 and sunshine. They got started on my back room and I can't wait for the finished product.

  7. you use the Kitchen Aid Meat Grinder interested in grinding own chicken breasts to save $$...thanks...

    1. Yes, my model is old and still going strong. I use it for grinding meats of all kinds and also for making and stuffing sausages.


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