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Nice balls

August 9th, 2012 1 Comment


This is a great meal for when you feel like eating super healthy, but don’t want to sacrifice flavor!  Below is a recipe I adapted from Bon Appetit.  You can also make the meatballs for a pasta dish or just to have as a snack!

Spring Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs

Serves 4.  I usually only make half of the broth and all of the meatballs.


  • 6 ounces ground chicken (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice breadcrumbs
  • 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, divided, plus more for garnish
  • 4 garlic cloves, 2 minced, 2 thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 large egg, whisked to blend
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
  • 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 2.5 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • Cooked Basamati rice (see fool-proof technique here)
  • 3/4 bunch of broccolini (or broccoli)
  • 1/2 cup 1/2″ rounds peeled carrots
  • 1 cup (packed) baby spinach
  • Chopped fresh basil


1.  I suggest portioning out everything French style (mis en place if you will).


2.  Mix chicken, breadcrumbs, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, 2 minced garlic cloves, chives, egg, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl.

3.  Form into 1/2″-diameter meatballs (makes about 28).
4.  Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat. Cook meatballs until golden all over, about 3 minutes (they will finish cooking in soup).


5.  Transfer to a plate; set aside.
6.  Add leek to pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.

7.  Add 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves; cook for 1 minute.

8.  Add broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Add carrots and simmer until pasta about 5 minutes.

9.  Add broccolini and simmer for a minute.

10. Add meatballs and simmer until carrots and broccolini are tender, and meatballs are cooked through, about 3 minutes.

11. Add spinach and stir until wilted.

12.  Season with salt and pepper.

13. Garnish with parmesan and basil which really make the soup.  You can eat it without it, but it’s so much better with the two.




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  • Tonight I added a sprig of rosemary to the broth for a minute and dressed it with thin slices of fresh mini San Marano tomatoes for a little sweetness. I also used brown Basmati rice and regular broccoli. Turned out delicious!