Spring Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs

It’s kind of funny that i’m blogging this spring minestrone recipe on the first official day of summer, but at least it’s a good recipe to end the spring season on! For the past few days I have cooked a lot of different recipes, but nothing I have made was really worth blogging about, which makes this recipe extra sweet. I guess I was just expecting this minestrone to be kind of bland a little boring like all the other minestrone’s i’ve ever had–so when I tasted it, I was blown away with how delicious it was!! It’s actually kind of strange to have a recipe this healthy be THIS delicious too!! But I think I could eat it every day and be quite content!

[Recipe originally from Saveur] Ingredients:
6 ounces ground chicken (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, divided, plus more for garnish
4 garlic cloves, 2 minced, 2 thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 large egg, whisked to blend
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
5 cups low-salt chicken broth
3/4 cup ditalini or other small pasta
1 cup 1/2-inch rounds peeled carrots
1 cup (packed) baby spinach
Chopped fresh basil

Mix chicken, breadcrumbs, 3 Tbsp. Parmesan, 2 minced garlic cloves, chives, egg, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl.Form into 1-inch-diameter meatballs (makes about 16).
Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat. Cook meatballs until golden all over, about 3 minutes (they will finish cooking in soup). Transfer to a plate; set aside.Add leek to pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves; cook for 1 minute. Add broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and carrots; simmer until pasta is almost al dente, about 8 minutes. Add meatballs; simmer until pasta is al dente, carrots are tender, and meatballs are cooked through, about 3 minutes.Add spinach and remaining 3 Tbsp. Parmesan; stir until spinach is wilted and Parmesan is melted. Season with salt and pepper.Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped basil and Parmesan.I hope you all have some exciting summer plans around the corner! Today was finally HOT here in Mattawa, so i’m hoping it will stay that way for a while. I’m excited to learn lots of yummy classic summer recipes too!

<3 Sarah