- 8 oz. ground chicken
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 5 garlic cloves, 3 minced, 2 thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh pesto
- 1 large egg
- kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, white and pale green parts only, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
- Note….I didn’t have leek. I used a white onion and it was still delish.
- 5 cups chicken broth (you may need more)
- 3/4 cup alphabet pasta (or other small pasta)
- 1 cup 1/2″ rounds peeled carrots
- 2 cups (packed) baby spinach
- pinch red pepper flakes
- chopped fresh basil, for serving (I couldn’t find fresh basil, so I didn’t use any)
Mix chicken, breadcrumbs, parmesan, pesto,three of the minced garlic cloves, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Form into 1/2″ diameter meatballs (makes about 28).
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook meatballs until golden all over, about 3 minutes (they will finish cooking in the soup). Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add leek to pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves; cook for 1 minute.
Add broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil (you might need more water and broth…I found that there was very little broth though perhaps I added to0 many extra noodles and they absorbed the broth…I dunno).
Stir in pasta and carrots; simmer until pasta is almost al dente, about 8 minutes. Add meatballs; simmer until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and stir until it wilts – that won’t take long. Season with red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Ladle soup into bowls.
Garnish with chopped basil and Parmesan….or nothing if you are me. lol
Hope you enjoy this soup because it is insanely delish!!!