Pork Ricotta Meatball Soup with Parmesan Broth

Pork and Ricotta Meatball Soup

This delicious Pork and Ricotta Meatball Soup with Parmesan Broth is a perfect dinner soup! With tender meatballs, spinach and peas, all in a flavourful Parmesan broth.

I don’t like to pick favourites, but let me just say that this soup was one of the most delicious soups I’ve enjoyed in a while. I guess I’m saying, if you’re in the mood for soup, move this one to the top of your list!

It starts with lovely ground pork and ricotta meatballs, that are pan fried to golden. The ricotta in these produces meatballs that are beautifully tender. Add the broth and a good size chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and let it simmer just a bit. Throw in some peas and spinach, then spoon over egg noodles.

There is a lot to love about this soup, from the tender meatballs, to the bright greens and the noodles. The star perhaps though is the Parmesan broth. I think I could drink that broth out of a cup :) Delicious!

From start to finish, you can be enjoying this soup in about 45 minutes. It’s a wonderful dinner soup, served along with a salad and a crusty bread to dip in the flavourful broth.

Pork Ricotta Meatball Soup with Parmesan Broth

Cook’s Notes for Pork and Ricotta Meatball Soup with Parmesan Broth

If you can, I recommend Parmigiano Reggiano parmesan cheese for this one. It’s a bit more expensive, but worth it and will be the star of this dish.

While I haven’t tried it, I suspect you could easily use ground chicken or turkey in place of the ground pork here.

Be sure not to simmer your broth with meatballs too vigourously. A very gentle simmer is best, to ensure your meatballs don’t break.

You may be wondering if you can add the egg noodles to the soup (or cook the egg noodles in the soup). A couple of reasons why it’s best NOT to go that route – if you simmer the cooked noodles with the broth, the starch in the noodles will make for a cloudy broth. If you have left-overs and the noodles are in the soup, the noodles will soak up all your lovely broth as they sit in the fridge. That would be a shame. So when all is said and done, you’re best to simply spoon the hot soup over warm noodles, rather than combining them.

Again, I haven’t tried this (yet), but I’m tempted to cook the meatballs quickly in a hot oven, instead of frying. I’m thinking 450F oven for 10-15 minutes, if anyone wants to try it :)




Pork Ricotta Meatball Soup with Parmesan Broth

Pork Ricotta Meatball Soup with Parmesan Broth

Pork and Ricotta Meatballs with Parmesan Broth

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 679 kcal

A delicious soup, perfect for dinner. With tender ground pork and ricotta meatballs, peas, spinach and a wonderful Parmesan broth. 

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Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated, plus more for garnish
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg grated
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt less if using fine salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/4 lbs ground pork

Soup:

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 3-by-1-by-1 inch piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 3 inches long, 1 inch wide and 1 inch thick
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 2 cups baby spinach

For serving

  • Warm cooked egg noodles
  • Shaved, crumbled Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Instructions

  1. Start water boiling in a large pot for egg noodles.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta and 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano. Add the egg, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, salt, pepper and water. Add the pork and stir to combine well. Form into 15-18 approx. two-inch diameter meatballs.

  3. In a large pot (preferably non-stick), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook the bottom until well browned. Using a spoon, gently flip the meatballs over and brown that side well. Again, using a spoon, flip the meatballs on their sides and brown all sides to seal the meatball well. Pour in the broth and add the the piece of cheese. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer the broth very gently, stirring once or twice (so the Parmesan doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan), until the meatballs are cooked through and the broth is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Stir in the thawed peas and spinach. Taste, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the peas are warmed through.

  4. Meanwhile, cook egg noodles in boiling water per the package directions. Drain and keep warm.
  5. Place some warm cooked egg noodles in the bottom of shallow bowls. Spoon the meatballs and broth over the egg noodles. Garnish with additional grated Parmigiano and serve.

Recipe Notes

As the meatballs are quite moist and soft, cooking them in a non-stick pan will make life easier. If you don't have a larger non-stick pot, you can cook them off in a non-stick skillet, then move them to a larger pot to finish cooking the soup. A non-stick skillet will give you extra room for flipping, as well.
 
Adapted from a Food & Wine recipe
Pork Ricotta Meatball Soup with Parmesan Broth
 

25 Comments

  • Well I’m moving this recipe to the top of the soup list. And I will try baking instead of frying the meatballs so thanks for the suggestion. I love that you put ricotta in the meatballs – and I can’t wait to bite into one! With the little bit of spinach and pasta – this is an amazing dish. So pretty too! Have a great weekend and thanks for this recipe!

    • Thanks Tricia and yes, I’m thinking baking the meatballs would be an easier way to go here (and no fussing about constantly turning them :)

  • Oh my goodness, I love the idea of parmesan broth as a base for this beautiful soup. As a matter of fact, I love everything about it and I know the family -young and old alike – would really enjoy it too! Thanks!

    • Thanks so much, Chris and yes, that Parmesan broth!! The dish has shades of Italian Wedding soup, so I’m sure it would appeal to everyone :)

  • Hi Anne, First I am sorry you didn’t love this soup. Obviously, that was not my experience. I didn’t have a single meatball fall apart and I found the soup to be very full flavoured. That said, I really do appreciate your feedback and I’ll see if I can help you love it too :)

    First, the meatballs. Mine were definitely more around 2-inches to start. The meatball mixture was well stirred. Almost paste-like. The meatballs were moist but held their shape. I added to a hot pot and let the bottom brown up really well, then used a spoon to gently flip them over. Then (and this is the important part I think), I rotated them on their sides and cooked all the sides. Browning all the outside is important to seal them before adding the broth, as if the sides aren’t cooked well, the moisture will escape that way and cause the meatball to break. All that said, I agree, these are really soft meatballs owing to all the ricotta and yes, need to be handled gently. I also think using a non-stick skillet to make the meatballs might be easier, as it would give more room for the flipping, as well. Browning all sides was also a bit fiddly, as they tend to flatten a bit. This is exactly why I mentioned about wanting to bake them off quickly in a hot oven instead. I will be trying that this week and report back :) I think it would definitely be nice to make this more part more simple.

    Now as for the flavour of the soup, I don’t know how big a parmesan piece you put in, but it should have been 3 inches long by 1 inch wide by 1 inch thick, so your broth should have been anything but lacking in flavour. It should have been distinctly paremsan-y. Beyond that, when it comes to soup, when I taste a soup and it seems to be missing something, it is almost always salt. Even though there is salt in the broth and parmesan, the added spinach and peas are completely unseasoned and even the noodles are very lightly salted from the boiling water (assuming it was salted). I usually add a bit of salt first in cases like this and see if it improved it. If it did, I add a bit more. Soups need a lot of salt.

    As I said, I really do appreciate your feedback and will use it to go back and make my instructions more clear and make suggestions for others. Thanks!

  • As much as I love me some meatballs, I REALLY LOVE LOVE LOVE meatballs in a brothy soup! So you know I’m digging this deliciousness, Jennifer! The pork and ricotta meatballs with the parmesan broth sounds just perfect!!! YUM! Cheers!

  • I think that I could drink this broth straight out of a cup too, Jennifer! I can only dream of the flavours going on here! I often put parm in soup and it’s freaking delicious!; I can’t recall where exactly I saw parm put in soup before (maybe Lidia Bastianich). And, plus, you have in the meatballs and garnish? So good! All I’d need with this is a big piece of crusty, garlic bread for dunkin’ and I’d be one happy girl! Pinned! Happy Monday to ya!

  • Holy cow, this is what I need in my life right now, Jennifer! I’m such a fan of egg noodles and of course, meatballs are the best food on the planet. Absolutely gorgeous!

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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