Homemade Chickarina Soup

Homemade Chickarina Soup
Source: Adapted from Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup



  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 3 links chicken sausage with basil pesto or other Italian Style chicken sausage
  • 2/3 cup Italian Style breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan & romano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon homemade or store bought pesto
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 10 cups homemade or store bought chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If your chicken sausage is precooked, slice links into smaller chunks and place in food processor with garlic cloves, milk and pesto. Process until the chicken sausage is broken down into a fine ground and evenly mixed. Combine the chicken sausage mixture with the ground chicken, bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan, cheese, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. If chicken sausage is raw, remove casings and combine with other meatball ingredients. With a teaspoon, roll 1-inch meatballs into a ball and drop onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Incorporate the Acini di Pepe and lower the temperature to simmering, cooking the pasta 8-10 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Once the pasta is ready, add the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute before adding the pesto. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook until tender. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated cheese.


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