Chicken Meatball Soup

(recipe, Michael J. Rosen)

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This recipe comes from Mary Sue Milliken, a chef, restaurant owner, cookbook writer, and Food Network host.


  1. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  2. 1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves chopped, stems discarded
  3. 1 Tbsp. salt
  4. 1½ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  5. 1 lb. ground chicken, preferably dark meat
  6. 1 large egg, beaten
  7. ⅔ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  8. ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  9. 1 large onion, diced
  10. 4 medium carrots, diced
  11. ¼ head green cabbage
  12. 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and julienned
  13. 3 medium plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced
  14. 10 cups chicken stock
  15. 1½ cups cooked rice or small pasta such as orzo (optional)
  16. 3 Tbsp. white vinegar


  1. Combine the garlic, cilantro, 1 tsp. each salt and pepper, chicken, and egg in a mixing bowl. Stir in the breadcrumbs.
  2. Roll the meat mixture between your palms into walnut-size balls. Place them on a tray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Heat 2 Tbsp. of the vegetable oil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add the onion, carrots, 2 tsp. of salt, and the ½ tsp. of pepper. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage, jalapeños, and tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until nearly smoking. Add the chilled meatballs in batches, shaking the pan to prevent sticking. Brown the meatballs on all sides and transfer them with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
  5. Add the cooked meatballs to the simmering soup and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. For a heartier version, add the rice or pasta if desired. Stir in the vinegar.