Italian Wedding Soup

Fall and winter are here. This hearty, healthy soup is the ultimate comfort food on a cold day.

Tablespoon Of Finely Chopped Red Onion
Two Minced Garlic Cloves
1/4 Cup Of Finely Chopped Italian Parsley
1/4 Cup Of Grated Parmesan Cheese
Pound Of Ground Chicken
Cup Of Breadcrumbs
12 Cups Of Chicken Stock (If not homemade, use low sodium stock)
Four Cups Of Shredded Cooked Chicken
Head Of Cleaned, Chopped Escarole
Two Cups Of Roughly Chopped Carrot
Cup Of Roughly Chopped Celery
Cup Of Roughly Chopped Spanish Onion
Three Large Eggs
Tablespoon Of Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Divided
1/2 Teaspoon Of Ground Black Pepper, Divided
Three Teaspoons Of Sea Salt, Divided
Six Ounces Of Cooked Pastina

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the first six ingredients along with a large egg, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and a teaspoon of sea salt in a bowl. Using your hands, mix well. Form into golf ball sized meatballs. Place the meatballs on a greased baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Put the chicken stock into a large soup pot. Place the pot on medium high heat. When the stock just reaches the boiling point, turn the heat down to low. Add the escarole, the carrot, the celery, the onion, two teaspoons of sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Simmer on low for two hours stirring occasionally. Add the meatballs to the pot for the last half hour of simmer time. Taste the soup and add more sea salt and/or pepper, as needed.

Whisk two large eggs and the lemon juice in a bowl. Stir the egg/lemon mixture into the soup. Add the cooked pastina and the cooked chicken to the pot. Stir again.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.