I was contacted a few weeks ago from Legends from Europe, asking if I’d like to participate in their blogger recipe contest.  I jumped at the chance!  Then quickly forgot about it!

Legends from Europe is on a three-year campaign in the United States to increase awareness of the legendary ingredients:

Grana Padano:


Parmigiano Reggiano:




Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele:

       di parma    san daniele

I actually thought that prosciutto was all the same.  I actually never even heard of it or tasted it before I met Tony.  There are two schools of thought – most people think that the Prosciutto di San Daniele is better because it isn’t massed produced like Proscuitto de Parma. 

I once made proscuitto purses stuffed with balsamic fig goat cheese – I need to make these again soon!


But once I agreed to this recipe contest, I was given my star ingredient.  I was thrilled when I was given parmigiano reggiano cheese! 

The first thing I think of is parmesan chicken, but decided to make parmesan chicken meatballs for a soup – thus this recipe was born.

Parmesan Chicken Meatball Florentine Soup

  • makes 4 servings: 1.5 cups of soup and 8 meatballs per serving
  • 311 calories, 10 fat, 24 carbs, 4.5 fiber and 33 protein

Ingredients for Meatballs:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinches of salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil

For the soup:

  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • pinches of salt and pepper

Put all the soup ingredients in a stock pot over medium low heat.  Put all the meatball ingredients in your food processor.  Pulse, just until everything is combined – if you puree it too much they won’t hold together.   My batch made 32 marble size meatballs.

Once you have your meatballs rolled out, heat up 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium high heat.  Sear the outsides of your meatballs – I ended up doing this in two batches so I didn’t overcrowd the pan. You don’t want to fully cook the balls because once they are browned, add them to the soup and they will continue to cook in the soup.  You’ll have super tender meatballs when you do it this way.

Once all the meatballs have been incorporated into the soup, simmer for about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped spinach.  Garnish with shaved parmiagano reggiano on top.


Parmiagano reggiano cheese has to be stamped as such, otherwise its just parmesan cheese.

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You can see the basil and crushed red pepper in each ball.  I just like to say balls.

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This is the tomato sauce I used – its super thick with just the tiniest bit of tomato chunks.  Me no likey big tomato chunks. Sick smile

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This is a winning soup (first prize is $1,000!).  The soup has a nice kick to it from the crushed red pepper, I love the subtle flavor of the balsamic vinegar, and of course the cheezy meatballs are amazeballs. Open-mouthed smile  My SIL and I will be enjoying this next week for one of our lunches!

Thanks to Legends from Europe for letting me participate in your contest!

Tony and I are off to run some errands, have lunch out and do some grocery shopping.  We are having grilled turkey breast tonight with mashed potatoes!

And I am going to be lunching it at my Mom’s house tomorrow with Hannah to celebrate her birthday a week late.  I am going to make a classic breakfast casserole and fresh fruit salad – can’t wait to see Hannah again!

Enjoy your weekend!