For the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion – grated
  • 4 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Italian bread crumbs
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites

For the Chicken:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the Soup:

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion – diced small
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 C chicken broth
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3/4 C acini di pepi or other small pasta
  • 8 oz fresh spinach, chopped


  1. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs and shape into small 1/2″ balls
  2. Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
  3. Meanwhile, place the chicken breasts in a large stockpot and fill with water until it is covering the chicken by at least 1″
  4. Bring to a boil and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through, about 15 minutes
  5. Turn off the heat and use tongs to remove the chicken to a large plate
  6. Shred the chicken and set aside
  7. Empty water from stockpot
  8. Melt butter in the now-empty stockpot over medium heat
  9. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes
  10. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil
  11. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  13. Gently add the meatballs to the soup and cook for 7 minutes
  14. Add the pasta and cook for an additional 6 minutes
  15. Add spinach and cook for an additional 3 minutes
  16. Add the shredded chicken
  17. Cover again and allow to simmer for another 30 minutes or so
  18. You can eat as soon as the chicken is re-heated, but allowing it to simmer for a little longer allows all the new flavors to meld together