Shopping List: 2 lbs. ground chicken, bread crumbs, eggs, Parmesan, celery, carrots, 3 fresh tomatoes or 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, cooked orzo, fresh spinach

Chicken Meatballs

In a large bowl, combine:
2 lbs. ground chicken
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used seasoned Panko crumbs)
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using seasoned crumbs)

Shape the meat into small meatballs.

In a skillet, heat:
1 tablespoon olive oil.
Brown meatballs on all sides and set aside. They will continue to be cooked through in the soup.

Alternatively, preheat the oven to 350, place the meatballs on a greased foil-lined baking sheet and bake them until the meatballs are cooked through (about 15 to 20 minutes) Add them to the soup just to heat though at the end.

For the Soup

Chop:
1 onion
3 stalks celery
6 carrots
3 tomatoes
(or use one 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes)
Mince:
3 cloves garlic

In a stock pot, heat:
1 tablespoon olive oil

Saute:
chopped onion for 5 minutes

Add:
minced garlic and saute 2 additional minutes.

Add:
chopped carrots and celery and saute for 2 final minutes.

Add:
64 oz. chicken stock
2 cups water
1 tablespoon parsley
2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
chopped tomatoes
meatballs
(if they are browned not baked through) (I add about 1 1/2 lbs. worth of meatballs and freeze the rest for the next time. You can add more or less to your taste preference.)

Simmer until the vegetables are tender and the meatballs are no longer pink.

Add:
6 ounces chopped spinach leaves
8-12 ounces small COOKED pasta (orzo, ditalini)

Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese.

This recipe is a variation of one that originated on the blog Good Life Eats.

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