escarole and meatball soup


I'm a fan of making meatballs. While they aren't exactly the "healthiest" dinner around, they are especially satisfying to eat standing in the kitchen after a long day of work. Sometimes I don't even make pasta to go with them - and by sometimes... I mean most times.

I came across this soup recipe this morning when I was flipping through some magazines. While I had no idea what "escarole" was, I was sold on making this because escarole was the only ingredient I needed at the store. Escarole was a whopping $2.29 so I was willing to take the risk on it. After a little bit of research, we might be in love with escarole. It's not very bitter. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Goes great in soups or as a salad. Maybe this will be a contender for the summer garden?

I had a real rollercoaster of expectations for this soup. When I tore it out of the magazine = high. When I was putting the meatballs in the soup = low. When I tasted the broth = high. End result? It's a winner. The only downside I have for escarole and meatball soup is that the meatballs are so tender and delicious that they fall apart a bit. As a result it won't look nearly as good at work tomorrow.
  1. For meatballs: In a medium bowl whisk together egg, bread crumbs, milk, nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp. each salt and black pepper. Stir in pork, chopped parsley, and Parmesan.
  2. Add celery and onion to a medium-high pot with olive oil. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Then add in the escarole, chicken broth, 2 cups water, and whole parsley leaves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Drop rounded tablespoons of pork mixture into broth. The meat still felt "loose" to me so I shaped them before putting them in the pot. 
  4. Gently submerge or stir meatballs in broth. Cover; simmer 10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. 
  5. Serve with additional Parmesan. 
Shopping List
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper
1pound ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 head escarole (12 oz.), leaves torn into large pieces
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup cup whole Italian parsley leaves

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