Mini Meatball Soup With Broccoli and Orecchiette

Mini Meatball Soup With Broccoli and Orecchiette

The little meatballs in this cozy soup are just half-teaspoon bits of Italian sausage that needn’t be rolled or browned before being plopped in. As the meatballs cook, the soup takes on the sausage's spices. This recipe is very adaptable: It calls for carrots and broccoli, but use whatever vegetables you wish. For the pasta, the tiny meatballs fit snugly in orecchiette, but feel free to use your favorite shape.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil.
  2. Step 2

    In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the carrots, broccoli stems and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally to keep the garlic from scorching, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the broth is flavorful, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as it simmers.
  4. Step 4

    Once the broth begins to simmer, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and divide it among bowls.
  5. Step 5

    While the pasta cooks and the broth simmers, use a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop little sausage meatballs and plop them into the broth. (You can also pinch 1/2-inch pieces of the sausage and roll them between your hands.) Return to a boil, add the broccoli florets, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring gently and occasionally, until the sausage is cooked through and the florets are bright green, 5 to 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the soup over the orecchiette. Finish with Parmesan.