About this recipe:This Italian soup is hearty and delicious. Chicken is simmered with celery, carrots, cabbage, sweet potato, beef meatballs and pasta in a tomato soup base. Serve with fresh crusty bread, if desired.
1 (1.8kg) whole chicken
1 large onion
6 sticks celery with leaves, chopped
9 carrots, sliced
1 sweet potato, cubed
1/2 medium head cabbage, coarsely chopped
825ml chicken stock
350g tomato and garlic puree
675g lean minced beef
55g dry breadcrumbs
40g grated Pecorino Romano cheese
450g orzo pasta
80g grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:2hr › Ready in:2hr20min
In a large stock pot, place the chicken, whole onion and chicken stock. Add enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to the boil and cook until the chicken is falling off of the bones.
Remove the chicken from the pot and separate the meat from the bones. Tear chicken into bite sized pieces and return them to the stock pot. Remove the onion from the stock, chop and return to the pot. Add the celery, carrots, sweet potato and cabbage. Stir in the tomato puree.
In a medium bowl, combine the minced beef, eggs, breadcrumbs and Pecorino Romano cheese. Mix well with your hands then form into walnut sized balls. Add the balls to the soup. Continue to cook the soup for an additional hour or until vegetables are tender.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Serve the soup over pasta and top each bowl with a generous pinch of grated Parmesan cheese.