Silky Textured Chicken Soup with Mini Meatballs
Pair with Blanc de Blancs
This delicious recipe is from the table of Dolores Ferrer, better known as Tía Lola, the beloved aunt/sister to all the Ferrer family members. Her Chicken Soup recipe is a favorite among the family members and Freixenet workers who frequent her table.
Her Chicken Soup recipe can be found in The New Spanish Table Cookbook by Anya von Bremzen (2005 Workman Publishing, NY)
2 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
1/2 cup milk
1/2 pound ground pork shoulder
1 large egg white, beaten until frothy
3/4 teaspoon course salt (koser or sea)
1 large pinch of white pepper
1 medium size pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Flour, for coating the meatballs
2 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed
9 cups best quality chicken stock
7 tablespoons rice flour (available at Asian markets & some supermarkets)
Minced fresh chives or flat leaf parsley, for garnish
Place the bread and milk in a bowl and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain, squeeze out some of the excess liquid, then finely crumble the bread.
Place the crumbled bread and the pork, half of the beaten egg white(disgard the rest), salt white pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl. Gently knead the pork mixture with your hands just until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Spread a thin layer of flour on a large plate. Wet your hands, then break off a little piece of the pork mixture and shape into a ball about cherry size. Repeat with the remaining pork mixture. Coat the meatballs very lightly in flour, shaking off the excess and gently tossing the meatballs between your hands to give them shape. As you work, place the coated meatballs on a small baking sheet.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, preferably nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add as many meatballs as will comfortably fit in the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Cook the meatballs until cooked through but not browned, about 5 minutes, shaking the skillet and turning the meatballs so they cook on all sides. Transfer the cooked meatballs to a clean baking sheet lined with paper towels. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and cook the rest of the meatballs in the same fashion.
Set aside about 1/3 cup of the chicken stock. Place the remaining stock in a 4 quart saucepan, bring it to a boil over high heat, and cook until reduced to 6 cups, about 25 minutes.
Place the rice flour in a bowl, add the reserved 1/3 cup chicken stock, and whisk until completely smooth. Slowly whisk the rice flour mixture into the reduced stock, whisking constantly for a few minutes to prevent lumps from forming. Let the soup thicken slightly, then gently stir in the meatballs and cook until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve garnished with chives or parsley.