A glance again at Epicurious’ Spring Minestrone With Hen Meatballs

A look back at Epicurious' Spring Minestrone With Chicken Meatballs

This simple spring minestrone – packed with fresh herbs, bright spring vegetables, and cheesy miniature meatballs – is lighter and fresher than its classic tomato-based relatives, making it the perfect choice for the warming weather. The mild taste of ground chicken makes the fresh chives and nutty parmesan shine, and the broth is laden with garlic, leek, and even more parmesan. It’s all I want to eat right now.

The first time I made this recipe was years ago as part of a soup swap. My friends and I gathered to chop vegetables and cook large quantities of our favorite soups on a weekend afternoon. We left refreshed from the community and conversations and all got quarter-size samples of each soup. This lightened minestrone with its parmesan broth and chicken meatballs is the one I keep coming back to.

Light & Fresh Minestrone is the ultimate spring meal

If soup isn’t the first dish that comes to mind when you think of spring cooking, it should be. Soups like this, made with delicate herbs and green vegetables, provide the bright freshness we crave this time of year (here’s another one I love).

You start by making the meatballs. Season the ground chicken with salt and pepper and carefully mix with the grated parmesan, garlic, chives and an egg. Scoop the meatballs into small rounds (only 1/2 to 1-inch in diameter) and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Next, brown the meatballs, and while the original recipe calls this on the stove, I’ve had great success frying the meatballs. Don’t worry if by the time the outside is done, the cheesy herb rounds will finish cooking in the broth.

Next, you begin to develop flavor for the light broth that forms the base of the soup. Fry the sliced ​​leek until soft, then add a pair of chopped garlic cloves and continue cooking until fragrant. Add the chicken stock and water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the saucepan is bubbling, add ditalini pasta and sliced ​​carrots and cook until the pasta is al dente and the carrots are tender. Add the meatballs to the soup when the pasta is about 3 minutes away from al dente. Stir in more grated parmesan cheese to flavor the broth and add a few handfuls of tender baby spinach. Stir until the leaves are barely withered. Scoop the meatballs, vegetables and broth into shallow bowls and garnish with fresh basil or chives and grated Parmesan.

If you’re making spring minestrone with chicken meatballs, here are a few tips

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand new recipes on the website every week. But at home we also have our own tried and tested dishes that we prepare again and again – because it’s easy? We love her. Kitchn love letters is a series that shares our favorite recipes over and over again.

Patty Catalano


Patty is a freelance recipe developer who has worked as the research coordinator and podcast producer for Alton Brown and in the Oxmoor House test kitchen. She loves maple syrup, coffee and board games. Patty lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children.

Joseph Hubbard

Joseph Hubbard is a seasoned journalist passionate about uncovering stories and reporting on events that shape our world. With a strong background in journalism, he has dedicated his career to providing accurate, unbiased, and insightful news coverage to the public.

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