1.5poundscurly endive or escarole or spinach (or a mix)
Parmesan cheesefor serving
For the Meatballs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Transfer all ingredients for the meatballs to a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly combine all ingredients for the meatballs together. Using approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture for each meatball, shape the meat mixture into 1-inch-diameter meatballs and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until tops are golden and meatballs are just cooked through. Set aside.
For the Soup
As the meatballs are cooking, begin preparing the soup. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Mix in the carrots and celery and continue to cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and salt and sauté for an additional 1 minute, stirring continuously to prevent the garlic from burning.
Add the chicken stock and the wine to the vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the acini di pepe pasta to the soup. Stir well to combine. Allow the pasta to cook for approximately 5-6 minutes, stirring often.
Add the cooked meatballs to the pot and return to a simmer. Stir in the fresh greens (curly endive, escarole or spinach) and allow soup to cook until greens are wilted.
Serve soup garnished with Parmesan cheese if desired.
I used two thick slices of fresh sourdough bread for the meatballs, but any white bread will work. You want approximately 2 cups of torn up bits and pieces of bread.
If you don't think you'll be eating all the soup in one sitting, I recommend cooking the pasta separately and adding to individual serving bowls rather than cooking the pasta in the soup pot.
I used a mixture of all three leafy greens- curly endive, escarole, and spinach (see images above).
This recipe makes a lot of mini meatballs! Feel free to cut the meatball recipe in half or save half of the meatballs for later :)