February  in Central New York is typically cold and snowy, and it’s about this time that cabin fever starts to set in.  This winter has been so strange, and yesterday was actually almost 60 degrees and sunny.  The kind of weather that makes you want to be PRODUCTIVE, and I was told by my boss {Asher, age 6} that I was to make “Meatball Soup”.  Meatball Soup, or Italian Wedding Soup, as most people know it by, is one of his favorite things to eat.  Of course he loves it, MEATBALLS are involved.  This is something that is usually made by his Mimi, and not a dish that I have ever tried.  But, I love making soup, and have a killer meatball recipe, (http://eastsidebakerycortland.com/meatballs/ )so really, how hard could it be?

The perfect thing to make for Soupy Sunday.

First things First.  I started my day with breakfast with my family in Syracuse.  While its always lovely to spend time with my family, an added bonus is being able to go to the Happiest Place on Earth.  Wegmans.  Oh, did you think I was going to say Disney? Ha!  Dewitt Wegmans is the best.  It is MY happy place.  I loaded up with all the necessities for Meatball Soup.

I don’t have a recipe, but I have eaten it a lot, so I just got all the fixings for traditional chicken soup, as well as the ingredients for meatballs.

FullSizeRender.jpmeatballsoup1The first thing that I do when making almost any kind of soup is make chicken stock.  It is so easy.  You not only get a great flavorful stock for the base of your soup. but you end up with a whole cooked chicken that you can use in the soup as well as add it to other meals during the week.  This is how I make chicken stock.

1.) Put a whole chicken in a pot

2.) Cover it with water

3.) Throw in some herbs and vegetables, salt and pepper.  I used Italian seasoning, celery, onions, garlic and potatoes, because that is what I had.

4.) Boil until the chicken it cooked through.

See? It’s so easy!!! and REALLLLLLLY good for you.


Now while thats boiling away, chop up and onion, garlic and some celery and sauté it in your soup pot.  Cook them until they’re soft, translucent and maybe even have a little bit of caramelization going on.



Now once those start cooking you can start rolling your meatballs.  This is the “hardest” part about this soup, and its only hard because it takes some time.  Here is my delicious {Asher Approved} Meatball Recipe that I features a few years ago on the blog. http://eastsidebakerycortland.com/meatballs/  Now, if you have a great meatball recipe of your own, go ahead and use it.  You can also buy pre-made meatball mix at almost any grocery store, which is cheating of course, but I won’t judge you.

Your grandmother might.  But I won’t.


Once mixed, the meat needs to be rolled in little tiny baby meatballs.  Think of them as being “bite size”.  I took a picture holding one so you could see about how big to roll them.  I used my meatball recipe, which is 2 lbs of meat, and it made 60 baby meatballs. Now, I have never done this before, but I rolled the meatballs and baked them.

 It was fast, easy and clean.

meatballsoup2meatballsoup4Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until cooked through, time will depend on the size of your meatballs.


So at this point, everything should be ready to go.  Take your stock and put it through a colander so that the broth goes into the onion, garlic, and celery mixture and the chicken stays out.  Pull the whole chicken out and let it cool so you can pick some of that delicious meat off of it.  It should be so tender, it just falls right off the bones.


Today when I made the stock and added it to my sautéed vegetables I realized that I didn’t make enough.  The pot I cooked the chicken in rendered about 4 cups of stock and for this soup I wanted about eight.  So I just added some store bought Chicken Stock.


You need all that stock because you still have to add the pasta, and that is going to suck up a lot of your liquid.  Asher insisted that I use “Stars”, so of course I complied.  But you can really use any short pasta you like here.  I bet that orzo would be yummy, or pastini.  I was thinking that 3/4 of a cup would be a good amount to add.


Now you add the Chopped Chicken (I did about two cups) The fresh Spinach and the Meatballs.

At this point you can taste it and see if you need to add any more salt or pepper, according to what your personal tastes are.


and just let simmer and cook until you just can’t handle the delicious smell any longer.  Asher lasted about 10 minutes.  And he said that it was delicious.

Which really, is all that matters.



1 Medium White Onion

3 Stalks of Celery with leaves

6 cloves of Garlic

Olive oil

8 Cups Chicken Stock

2 Cups Chopped Chicken

Baby Meatballs

Fresh Spinach (a bag is a good amount)




Italian Seasonings

Start by chopping the onion, garlic and celery.  Add them to a Soup Pot with enough olive oil to cover and cook them,  Approx. 2 tablespoons.  Cook on medium until onions are translucent.  About 5 minutes.

Add your chicken stock and bring to a slow boil.

Add about 3/4 cup of your favorite short pasta.  My 6-year-old will only recommend his favorite, stars.

Add cooked Chopped Chicken, Cooked Meatballs and Fresh Spinach,  let simmer until the pasta is cooked through.

Add salt and pepper to taste

Top with your favorite Italian Grated Cheese, We love pecorino romano, and serve with Delicious Bread.  From the East Side Bakery of course!