Barley-Leek Soup with Mini Chicken Meatballs

  • Yield servings

This is a great soup to make with kids, who will have fun forming the meatballs and love eating the end result. The meatballs can be made ahead and frozen.

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 -- leeks, white and pale green parts, chopped
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups pearl barley
8 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley, plus 1/2 cup chopped parsley for garnish
1 tablespoon tomato paste
-- salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter with the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks and garlic and saute until very soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and wine, stir to combine, and cook for 4 minutes.  Add the barley and 8 cups broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the barley is tender, about 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the meatballs, preheat the oven to 375°F.  Oil a baking sheet.  In a bowl, combine the chicken, Parmesan, bread crumbs, 2 Tbsp parsley, and tomato paste.  Add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and stir to combine.  The mixture will be very sticky.  To form the meatballs, use two small spoons to scoop up the mixture and transfer it to the prepared sheet.  Bake until the meatballs are cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 10-12 minutes.
  3. Add the meatballs to the soup and stir in gently.  If the soup is too think, add more broth and heath through.  Season with salt and pepper and serve, garnished with the 1/2 cup parsley.

Reprinted with permission from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day by Kate McMillan, Weldon Owne

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