I chose to make this soup simply because I am working on cleaning out my freezer and pantry. I had these sweet little heart shaped ravioli in my freezer. Naturally, I was saving them for a "special occasion". Apparently, I never found the right "special occasion". I decided that anything using a Tyler recipe was special enough and I dug them out for this recipe. Why, oh, why do I always save things for a "special" occasion?
This soup was a little on the labor intensive side. Tyler give you the option of using 4 links of apple-chicken sausage or using the equivalent in ground chicken. I can tell you that you should totally opt for the ground chicken! The sausage I bought was hard to remove from the casing and was not soft or easy to crumble and mold into a meatball. Once my meatballs were formed, it dawned on me that I was very nevous about making meatballs with poultry. Because I am a very paranoid person, I was sure to overcook them. The rest of the soup was very easy to throw together. I thought the final outcome was very tasty and I thought the chicken meatball was a very original idea. The soup was adorable with those little heart shaped raviolis floating around. I like the light apple flavor of the soup and the meatball gave a wonderful flavor to the broth. I think the novelty of it all was lost on my husband. He liked the soup, but declared that the meatballs in the soup didn't count as meat. Does anyone else have a husband who has to have a huge amount of meat at every meal? It literally drives me crazy. Can you tell I'm in a wonderful mood today?
4 links organic chicken-apple sausage or equivalent ground chicken meat
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (2 slices fresh white bread ground up)
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano, plus 2 tbsp. for sprinkling
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 large carrots, cut into circles
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 quarts reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 black peppercorns
2 tbsps. chopped fresh italian flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
1 pound fresh refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini, thawed **I used ravioli**
1/4 cup finely chopped italian flat-leaf parsley
fresh parlsey sprigs, for garnish
1 crusty French baguette **I served this with my pretzel rolls**
Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare meatballs by combining loose ground chicken meat (discard casings, if using sausages), bread crumbs, milk, egg, parsley, and the 1/4 cup parmigiano in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then mix until fully combined. Using a small ice cream scoop, make balls and set on a roasting tray. Drizzle lightly with oil and sprinkle with the 2 tbsps. Parmigiano. Roast in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and caramelized.
While the meatballs are roasting, prepare the soup. Set a large stockpot over medium heat. Add a 2-count of oil, the garlic, and thyme. Gently saute until frgrant, about 2 minutes. Add carrot, onion, and celery. Season with salt and cook for 5-7 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and add peppercorns, the 2 tbsps. parsley, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
Once meatballs are cooked, scrape them into the pot of chicken soup and add tortellini/ravioli. Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Remove peppercorns and bay leaf. Season with sal tand pepper and serve in shallow bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and grated parmigiano. Garnish each bowl with a parsley sprig and serve with some torn pieces of crusty bread/pretzel rolls.
I am submitting this recipe to Tyler Florence Fridays for this Friday's roundup. Head on over there Friday evening and see what everyone else cooked up this week!!