This heart soup is a wild combinations of caramelized onion and chicken meatballs simmered in a chicken broth with an abundance of vegetables and lightly dusted with a sprinkling of Percorino Cheese.
Contrary to popular belief, this Italian-American dish isn’t actually named for its appearance at weddings. “Minestra maritata,” or wedding soup, is so named for its perfect marriage of savory meatballs and tender and baby spinach.
You will be making your own chicken meatballs and simmering all the ingredients— including fregola sarda which is a toasted pasta from the island of Sardinia—in a delightful and simple chicken broth.
It’s a warming bowl of happiness, and I am sure that you will say “yes” to for a light lunch or dinner.
10 ounces ground chicken
½ cup Fregola Sarda Pasta
3 ounces baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 yellow onion
1 stalk celery
1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
3 Tablespoons chicken demi-glace or chicken base
⅓ cup grated Percorino or Parmesan Cheese
⅓ cup plain Breadcrumbs
Prepare the ingredients: Form the meatballs: Wash and dry the fresh produce. Finely chop the spinach. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and small dice the carrot. Small dice the celery. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems.
In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the carrot, celery and remaining onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Once the meatballs are cooked through, stir the spinach into the pot of soup; season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach has completely wilted. Remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, ¼ of the onion, half the garlic, half the cheese and half the parsley. Season with salt and pepper; stir to thoroughly combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 24 to 28 meatballs, each about 1-inch in diameter.
To the pot of aromatics, add the fregola sarda pasta, chicken demi-glace and 3 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the meatballs. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. NOTE: You can test the doneness of your meatballs by removing one from the pot and cutting it in half.
To serve, divide the finished soup between two bowls and top with the remaining cheese and parsley.