Chicken Meatball Orzo Soup
This post is sponsored by Zoup! Good, Really Good™ Broth! They provided me a selection of broths for recipe development, as well as compensation for my time. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I used their Chicken Bone Broth and original Chicken Broth for this delicious Chicken Meatball Orzo Soup! Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more great recipes.
I served this winter-ready updated chicken soup on the perfect night at House Macheesmo. The kids had the sniffles, Betsy had the start of a sore throat, and I kept wanting to inch up the thermostat a few degrees due to the first real cold-spell in Denver this winter.
While you could use shredded chicken for this soup to take some time off the prep work, I love the little meatballs, which get baked, but then simmered along with the aromatics, orzo, and broth to make a really delicious and relatively quick soup. I listed it as an hour, but you can do it faster if you’re efficient.
Speaking of broth, I was sent the whole line of Zoup! Good, Really Good™ Broth a few
weeks ago and have been experimenting with them.
If you’ve been a long time Macheesmo reader, you know that I’m a huge fan of having homemade broth in the freezer, but truth be told, I rarely have the time to make it these days and have relied more and more on store-bought broth for recipes.
Store-bought broth is generally a less-than-great option. It tends to not have the intensity of homemade broth.
But now I have to make an admission. I think that this Zoup!’s line of broth (and especially the bone broth) is actually better than my homemade version. Or at least it’s close enough that I can claim it as homemade and not even my wife would know. It’s that good.
Zoup! got its start in the soup business as a fast-casual franchise chain of restaurants and is now bringing restaurant-quality broth to supermarkets. Their broth is made in small batches, which helps give it its richness and homemade flavor. In addition, Zoup! Good, Really Good™ Broth is low in calories, paleo-friendly, and completely free of hormones, gluten, GMO’s, fat, trans fat and saturated fat.
Zoup! Good, Really Good™ Broth is available nationwide at stores like Albertsons- Safeway, Wegman’s, and Giant Eagle. These jars are a bit pricier than your sale-bin grocery store broth, no doubt, but they are worth every extra penny when you are making a soup like this and having a few good jars of excellent broth in your pantry is always a good idea.
1) For meatballs, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with foil. In a
medium bowl, mix together all the meatball ingredients. Make sure the mixture is evenly
combined. It should hold its shape.
2) Make small meatballs out the mixture, aiming for heaping teaspoon-sized meatballs.
You should get 55-60 meatballs out of the batch.
3) Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes. Test one to make sure they are completely cooked
4) Meanwhile, for the soup, add a drizzle of olive oil to a large pot over medium heat.
Add onion, carrot, and celery. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until
vegetables soften, 5-6 minutes.
5) Add two jars of Zoup! Broth (about 2 quarts) and bring to a simmer. When broth is
simmering, turn heat down to low, add orzo pasta, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes to
6) When meatballs are done, stir them into the soup.
7) Taste soup and season with salt and pepper to your taste. It may need a pinch of both
but shouldn’t need much additional seasoning.
8) Serve soup piping hot with fresh parsley.
Chicken Meatball Orzo Soup
Getting the meatballs going is the first part of this recipe and, honestly, the most work.
Mix up the ingredients really well and then make tiny meatballs out of the mixture. You should get around 60. They are tiny! Bake them until they are cooked through and browned, maybe 20 minutes.
Meanwhile you can get your soup stuff going. I like these add-ins. Classics!
And the Zoup! Broth! I used a mix of their bone broth and classic chicken broth.
Once you soften your veggies in some olive oil in a large pot, add the broth!
I like to cook the orzo in the soup for this version, but make sure to not add too much. It won’t look like much but it really expands. If you add too much it’ll soak up all your delicious broth.
The pasta will need to simmer for around 10 minutes to cook and at some point you can stir in your meatballs as well to get the flavors combined.
Spoon it all up in a bowl with fresh parsley and this chicken meatball orzo soup is done!