I may be biased, but my whole family & Thomas’ agrees that Thomas is the best cook in the family. Everything he makes just turns out SO delicious, and he always puts so much love and care into his cooking. He takes time to enjoy chopping the ingredients, usually has music playing, and makes sure to be in the zone. It’s honestly really inspiring watching him in the kitchen. This soup is one of my favorite things that he makes! I feel like I say that about so many things (& I mean it every time), but this soup is just the coziest. Perfect for a cold day and the best leftovers. I always say it’s like an Italian version of chicken noodle soup. Meatballs instead of chicken and pastina instead of noodles. It’s so good!
For the Meatballs:
-1 lb ground beef
-1/2 cup parmesan, shredded
-2.5 in baguette, chopped into breadcrumbs (or about 1/4-1/3 cup)
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-2 tbsp parsley, chopped
-1 tbsp milk
-1/2 tsp lemon zest
-sea salt & pepper, to taste
For the soup:
-64 oz chicken stock
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-3-4 medium carrots, chopped
-3-4 celery stalks, chopped
-juice of 1 lemon
-1/2 cup pastina (or pasta of choice)
-12oz fresh spinach
-parsley, for garnish
Starting with the meatballs, in a large stockpot (that you’ll use for everything), saute the 2 chopped garlic cloves with olive oil for a few minutes. Then, in a large mixing bowl, add in all the meatball ingredients once the garlic is cooled. Mix it up well until all incorporated (don’t be afraid to use your hands & get messy!) Roll the meatballs into little balls. We like to do them small so they cook quicker and are more bite sized. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In the same stockpot, heat up some olive oil add in the rest of the chopped garlic. Stir for about a minute until fragrant. Add in the onions and stir for about 2 minutes. Then add in the celery and carrots and season with sea salt and pepper. Let the veggies cook down for about 5-7 minutes on medium high heat. Add in two 32oz (64oz total) containers of chicken stock (or broth) and the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, and season with salt throughout if using low sodium or no sodium from stock. Lower heat to medium/ medium-high. Add in the pastina and cook until they grow in size. Next, add the meatballs right into the soup and let them cook through for about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to a simmer and let everything marry for about 20-30 minutes.! Before serving, add in fresh spinach and let wilt.
Serve with a slice or bread & butter (sourdough or baguette are our favorites) and a sprinkle of fresh parsley! Enjoy! 🙂
Making this now! So far (smells) so good! At what point do I add the juice of the whole lemon to the soup? Thank you 🙂
Hi! I hope you enjoyed it! You can add it in at the end! 🙂
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Hi! It says at the rest of the garlic when cooking the soup. So how much goes in the meatballs vs soup?
Hi! Thanks for checking in on this! You can add about 1 tsp garlic to the meatballs 🙂
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