I’ve been all about the balls lately.
Hm, that came out rather wrong.
I mean the hot pot balls and the chocolate chip cookie dough balls from the weekend.
And today was Ballsy Chicken Soup. Little balls of chicken in a mellow veggie brothy soup. It’s perfect for another wet Vancouver day. (Seriously, it’s POURING outside.)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 bunch kale leaves torn into bit sized pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 C whole wheat fusilli (measured dry)
- 9 C liquid (I used 4 C low-sodium chicken broth, 5 C water)
- 1 tsp herbs of your choice
- salt and pepper
- 1 sliced green onion for garnish (or cilantro, but I didn’t have any)
- handful of spinach leaves for each bowl
- 1 lb extra lean ground chicken
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1 chopped green onion
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp Montreal steak seasoning (I know, we’re not making steak here, but seriously, I love this stuff!)
- few drops sesame oil
- light drizzle of grapeseed oil (or any other oil)
- 1/2 C ground quick oats (just throw quick oats into a food processor. Or just use quick oats. I’m just being difficult. Actually, I just wanted to use up the ground oats I had left over from another recipe.)
To make the balls, mix everything together in a large bowl. I like to use my hands. I mean, this is Ballsy Chicken Soup–you gotta be fearless, have a bit of an attitude, and get a little dirty while doing this. That, and you can mix it more evenly and quickly with your hands, which is important cuz you don’t want to overmix. Overworking your meat will make the balls tough. Heh.
Using two teaspoons, shape the mixture into tablespoon-sized little balls and place onto a sprayed cookie sheet. I know, I know, I just made a big deal about something to do with balls and using your hands; you could use your hands to roll them, but this mixture is quite wet and sticky, and I found that by using the spoons, more of the meat ended up in balls rather than on your hands. I just scooped/passed the mixture back and forth between the two spoons until they resembled a ball shape. No need to be perfect here.
Heat some oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until slightly brown. Add a little salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice.
Add liquid, turn up heat to high. When it comes to a boil, add pasta and kale, and turn down to med-high. Cook for 6 mins.
Turn temperature up to high again. Drop in the chicken balls one at a time, but try to do this quickly, as they cook in no time at all, and you want them to finish cooking at around the same time. Then dump in the diced red bell pepper. Cook for 4 mins. Taste test, and season further with salt/pepper if needed.
To serve, place a handful of spinach leaves in the bottom of each bowl.
Ladle soup on top and garnish with green onion.
Mmmm I love me some balls.