Chicken and risoni soup with herbed meatballs

Also known as risi, risoni is a very small, rice-shaped pasta similar to orzo that is often used by Italian cooks when making soup. It can also be baked in a casserole or served as a side dish to a rich meaty main course.

  • 3 hrs 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print


Chicken and risoni soup with herbed meatballs
  • 2.5 litre (10 cups) water
  • 1.6 kilogram (3¼-pound) whole chicken
  • 1 large_piece tomato (220g), halved
  • 2 celery stalks (300g), trimmed, halved
  • 1 medium_piece brown onion (150g), halved
  • 2 fresh flat-leaf parsley stalks
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 300 gram (9½ ounces) minced (ground) chicken
  • 1/2 cup (50g) packaged breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup (165g) risoni pasta
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Chicken and risoni soup with herbed meatballs
  • 1
    Place the water in large saucepan with whole chicken, tomato, celery, onion, parsley stalks and peppercorns; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 2 hours.
  • 2
    Remove chicken from pan. Strain broth through muslin-lined sieve or colander into large heatproof bowl; discard vegetable solids. Allow broth to cool, cover; refrigerate overnight. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin and bones. Shred meat coarsely; cover, refrigerate overnight.
  • 3
    Combine minced chicken, breadcrumbs, finely chopped parsley, cheese and egg in medium bowl; roll heaped teaspoons of mixture into balls. Heat oil in medium saucepan; cook meatballs, in batches, until browned.
  • 4
    Skim and discard fat from surface of broth. Return broth to large saucepan; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Add meatballs and pasta; simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and pasta is just tender. Add 2 cups of the reserved chicken (keep remaining chicken for another use), juice and coarsely chopped parsley to pan; stir soup over medium heat until hot.

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