Submitted by: Kim
Prep Time: 3 Hours
Cook Time: 4 Hours
Some call variations of this, Italian Wedding Soup, others Escarole Soup. My gram's recipe is all that and then some! Note: This is time consuming and has lots of prep work. It is not a meal to make after you get home from work. It is a labor of love and will take all day. You will also need a very large stock pot.
To make the broth: Have the butcher cut the whole chicken into 8 pieces. Wash the chicken and place in a 5 or 8 quart stock pot. Add cold water to cover the chicken up to one inch above the chicken. Bring slowly to a boil and skim the surface. Once water stay clean, add 2-3 rough chopped stalks celery with leaves, 2-3 rough chopped carrots, 2 quartered onions, 2 chopped tomatoes, a few sprigs of parsley and salt/pepper to taste. Cover pot and cook on low heat until chicken is cooked but tender (about 2 hours). Remove chicken and strain the broth. Refrigerate until the fat congeals on top and discard the fat. Remove meat from chicken into shreds and save for soup. (I wait for the chicken to cool and use my fingers to separate the meat from bones into shreds like pulled meat)
To make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1/2 cup fresh grated Romano cheese, 2 finely minced garlic cloves and salt and pepper to taste. (I like to then put it in a plastic bag in the fridge while I slice the carrots/celery/escarole, cook hard boil eggs to allow all the flavors to blend.) Roll the mixture into tiny meatballs no larger than a marble - see pic above. (These are called polpettini which means "tiny meatball") Rolling the meatballs takes about an hour.
Slice the carrots, celery, hard boiled eggs and wash and chop the escarole.
To make the soup: Bring the broth that has been skimmed of fat to a boil in a large stock pot (at least a 16 quart stock pot). Add carrots and celery. Cook at a low boil till almost tender (about 1 hr). Add chicken and simmer for 1/2 hr. Add meatballs and simmer for 1/2 hr. Add sliced hard boiled eggs and stir until mixed well. (much of the yolk will disintegrate into the broth and the white will remain) Add chopped escarole and simmer until wilted (about 5-10 minutes).
Serve soup with fresh grated Romano cheese on top.
I guesstimated the number of servings. It makes a lot! This soup is protein packed with a nice mix of veggies and green leafy for carbs. The only fat comes from the Romano cheese.