Italian Meatball Soup with Farro & Lacinato Kale

Italian Meatball Soup

with Farro & Lacinato Kale

35 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

The secret to a successful soup is perfectly melded flavors. This classic meatball soup (or “zuppa di polpette” in Italian) combines some of our favorite Tuscan flavors—Lacinato kale, hearty farro, warming spices and Parmesan cheese—in a comforting, colorful tomato broth. By browning our meatballs on the stovetop, then simmering them in the savory broth, we’re ensuring the beef stays tender and juicy, while also soaking up all the delicious flavors of the soup. Happy holidays, chefs!

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    700 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Italian Meatball Soup with Farro & Lacinato Kale
Title
time-saving
tips & techniques
Cook the farro:
1 Cook the farro:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the farro and cook 16 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly. Rinse and wipe out the pot.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the farro cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and small dice the onion. Remove and discard the kale stems; roughly chop the leaves.

Form the meatballs:
3 Form the meatballs:

While the farro continues to cook, in a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, half the cheese and half the spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into 24 to 26 equal-sized meatballs, each about 1 inch in diameter. Place on a plate.

Start the soup:
4 Start the soup:

In the pot used to cook the farro, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the onion and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Stir in the diced tomatoes, demi-glace and 3 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume.

Brown the meatballs:
5 Brown the meatballs:

While the soup simmers, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned on all sides.

Finish the soup & serve your dish:
6 Finish the soup & serve your dish:

Add the browned meatballs (leaving any drippings in the pan) and cooked farro to the pot of soup. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the meatballs are cooked through. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished soup between 2 bowls. Garnish with the remaining cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Cook the farro:
1 Cook the farro:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the farro and cook 16 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly. Rinse and wipe out the pot.

2 Prepare the ingredients:

While the farro cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and small dice the onion. Remove and discard the kale stems; roughly chop the leaves.

Form the meatballs:
3 Form the meatballs:

While the farro continues to cook, in a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, half the cheese and half the spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, form the mixture into 24 to 26 equal-sized meatballs, each about 1 inch in diameter. Place on a plate.

4 Start the soup:

In the pot used to cook the farro, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the onion and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Stir in the diced tomatoes, demi-glace and 3 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume.

Start the soup:
5 Brown the meatballs:

While the soup simmers, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned on all sides.

6 Finish the soup & serve your dish:

Add the browned meatballs (leaving any drippings in the pan) and cooked farro to the pot of soup. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the meatballs are cooked through. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished soup between 2 bowls. Garnish with the remaining cheese. Enjoy!

Finish the soup & serve your dish:
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