Escarole Soup With Pasta And Meatballs
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef
- 1 1/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese divided
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (made from crustless French bread)
- 1 large egg
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 7 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large celery stalks with tops chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1/2 cup farfallini or orzo
- 1 small escarole head coarsely torn
Blend beef, 1/3 cup cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Using moistened hands, shape meat mixture into 3/4-inch meatballs.
Heat 1 1/2 cups broth and oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and simmer until firm enough to hold shape, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to bowl.
Boil broth until reduced to glaze, about 6 minutes. Add celery and onion to pot. Stir until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
Add remaining 6 cups broth, pasta, and meatballs with any juices. Reduce heat. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Add escarole and simmer until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls. Serve with remaining 1 cup cheese.
This recipe yields 4 main-course or 6 first-course servings.
Test-Kitchen Tip: For fresh breadcrumbs, grind chunks of crustless French bread in the processor to coarse crumbs.