Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Mini Meatball & Alphabet Soup


This is enjoyed by both kids and adults and you hear nothing but slurping when I serve it up.  In fact, I haven’t made this in a while and making it the other night brought comments from my four-year old daughter like, “Mom, this is the best dinner ever.”  Wouldn’t it be great if you got to hear that every night? 

The original recipe for this soup was inspired by the traditional Stracciatella soup.  Stracciatella in Italian means “torn rags”.  The soup got that name for the egg that is swirled through the soup and breaks up to look like torn rags.  If you don’t know it by now, I hate eggs. I cook and bake with them yes, but you won’t ever see me eat an egg in its natural state.  I cannot and will not and that’s just the way it is.  So I certainly have no intention of ever adding an egg to this recipe.  Okay, I did add it to the meatball mixture, but that’s different.

Also, in a typical Stracciatella soup you would add some shredded spinach, which to me would have been perfect.  However, my children have an aversion to anything green and it took awhile just to talk them around the parsley that was flecked in the meatballs.  Sometimes I will split up the batch of soup and add the spinach to half and leave it out of the other half.  And since spinach cooks up quick enough, you can always add it to your own dish before serving. 

Whichever version you choose, with our without spinach, this is a simple but delicious soup.  The recipe I’m providing below is a double batch since I always serve up one batch and then freeze the second batch for a later day.  You can cut the recipe in half if you want to just make it for a single family meal.  I serve this with some grilled cheese sandwiches and call it a night.

MINI MEATBALL & ALPHABET SOUP:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 quarts chicken broth (use low sodium or homemade if possible)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup dry tiny pasta such as alphabet, orzo, or other
  • few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin my filling a large stock pot with the chicken broth and water.  Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.

While waiting for the broth to boil, mix up the meat, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, egg, onions, parsley, salt and pepper.  Roll the meatball mixture into tiny meatballs about 1/2″ in size. 

Once the broth is boiling, add the meatballs carefully to the broth along with the pasta.  Turn heat to low and allow the pasta and meatballs to fully cook.  The meatballs will float at first, but will eventually sink to the bottom.   Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Once done, serve up immediately with some extra parmesan cheese sprinkled on the top. 

Enjoy!

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9 responses to “Mini Meatball & Alphabet Soup

  1. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme November 9, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    Oh, this looks so good! Perfect for this chilly weather we’ve been having.

  2. SouffleBombay November 9, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    My neice is crazy for meatball chicken noodle soup – Think I will whip some of this up for her 🙂 My son would enjoy this as well. My daughter on the otherhand would choose eggs…lol just sayin!!

  3. Pingback: Mini Meatball & Alphabet Soup (via Bored Cook In The Kitchen) « Ninny's Nest

  4. polwig November 10, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    This sounds perfect for my toddlers, anything with noodles and broth… seriously they can eat my entire paycheck (wait I don’t have one) in thai or asian restaurants but don’t give them macaroni and cheese or pizza… strange kids… this however will be gone in a jiffy.

  5. shawnsplate November 10, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    My peeps will love this!

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