- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
- 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 large egg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 leek, white and light green parts only, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup ditalini or other small pasta
- 1 cup carrot 1/2-inch rounds (peeled)
- 1 cup packed baby spinach
- Chopped fresh basil
In a medium bowl, combine ground chicken, breadcrumbs, 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan, garlic, chives, egg, salt, and pepper. Form into 1-inch meatballs. Meatballs can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 1 day before cooking.
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch-oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook meatballs until golden all over, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Add leek to pot and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes or until it begins to soften. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and carrots and simmer for 4 minutes. Add meatballs and simmer until the pasta is al dente, the carrots are tender, and the meatballs are cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add spinach and remaining 3 tablespoons of Parmesan and stir until the spinach is wilted and Parmesan is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with chopped basil.