Escarole Soup with Spicy Meatballs
This is a traditional Italian soup lightened with chicken instead of beef or pork meatballs. The key, however, is the quality of the stock. Makes 6 Servings


Kosher salt
1 head escarole, about 1 pound
1/2 cup bread crumbs from day-old Italian bread
4 ounces ground chicken breast meat
1 egg white
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 quarts de-fatted Chicken Stock, preferably homemade, cooked on medium-high until reduced to 2 quarts
1/3 cup acini di pepe or other tiny pasta for soups

1. Bring 3 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water ready.

2. Remove bottoms from escarole.

3. Stack and roll leaves.

4. Cut crosswise into 1/2 -inch strips.

5. Wash, drain, and put into boiling water.

6. Stir and cook 3 minutes.

7. Drain and put into ice water. When cool, drain.

8. In a mixing bowl, moisten breadcrumbs with a few tablespoons of water.

9. Add chicken, egg white, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, parsley, cayenne pepper, and salt and black pepper to taste.

10. Mix well and form into very small meatballs, slightly larger than a marble. You should have about 30.

11. Bring stock to a boil and add pasta.

12. Cook 5 minutes, stirring.

13. Add meatball and cook 2 minutes.

14. Add escarole and salt and pepper to taste.

15. Cook 5 minutes.

16. Serve, sprinkling each serving with remaining cheese.

Cooking Tip
To facilitate making meatballs, periodically dip the fingertips of the hand that does the rolling in a dish of water.

Home Broadcasts Produce Tips Health & Nutrition Magazine Recipes About Tony