A truly soul-satisfying soup: Meatballs, noodles, a bit of green, and Parmesan cheese broth.
11-12 cups chicken stock
Parmesan rinds and/or leftover hard cheese pieces
1 pound ground meat (chicken, turkey, pork, beef, veal, or a combination)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs or panko
2 large eggs
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (or Romano), divided
1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese (or Parmesan)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 6 lightly packed cups)
1 cup dry macaroni pasta
In a large pot, combine stock and cheese rinds and aged cheese pieces (not feta or Cheddar)
Combine the ground meat, bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of each cheese, oregano, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, then form the mixture into 3/4-inch balls. You should have 30 to 40 meatballs, depending on how large you form them.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the meatballs in batches and cook, turning, until browned all over, 3 to 5 minutes. (If they are still a bit pink in the middle, don’t worry; they will continue to cook in the broth.) Set them aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
In a 4- to 6-quart soup pot, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onions are tender and the garlic is soft, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the warm cheese stock and bring to a boil. Add the greens and macaroni, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the meatballs and cook another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining egg and remaining feta cheese in small bowl and stir with a fork to blend. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot soup, stirring constantly. Cover and simmer just until egg bits are set, about 30 seconds.