Spaghetti and Chicken Meatball Soup
Tomato soup meets spaghetti and meatballs in this one-pot, 30-minute crowd-pleaser. To keep chicken meatballs juicy and light, skip the bread crumbs (which can create dense or bland meatballs) and the browning (which can cause precious juices to evaporate). Instead, plop them into the simmering soup to cook through. Any juices they do release will be captured in the tomato soup, which is creamy from olive oil and Parmesan. Feel free to adapt this recipe to suit your preferences: Add chopped onion, crushed fennel seeds, dried oregano or chopped parsley or basil to the meat or the sauce. The pasta will absorb the soup as it sits, so it’s a dish best eaten right when it’s made.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound ground chicken or turkey
- 1cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 8garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1large egg
- Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- ¼cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2tablespoons tomato paste
- Pinch of red-pepper flakes (optional), plus more to taste
- 4cups chicken broth
- 3cups store-bought or homemade marinara sauce
- 8ounces spaghetti, broken roughly into thirds
Step 1In a large bowl, stir together the chicken, half the Parmesan, half the garlic, the egg and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir with your hands until combined. Using wet or oiled hands, roll into 12 to 14 meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter each). Meatballs will be very soft, but if they don’t hold their shape, refrigerate until Step 3.
Step 2In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil, tomato paste, remaining garlic and the red-pepper flakes (if using) over medium. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is sizzling and fragrant and the oil is stained red, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, marinara sauce and 2 cups of water. Keep on medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Step 3Gently add the meatballs to the broth and stir to combine. Add the spaghetti. Simmer over medium, stirring gently and often, until the meatballs are cooked through and the pasta is al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. (Pasta will finish cooking from the heat of the soup). Turn off the heat, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and season to taste with salt and red-pepper flakes, if using. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan and red-pepper flakes, if desired.