Springtime is always bittersweet for me. As much as I love the promise of warmer weather and flourishing gardens, it’s not uncommon that I find myself in a bit of a funk this time of year. I suppose it’s the many years of living in a ski town but I can’t seem to shake the feeling of melancholy as the resorts close down for the winter ski season.
I know, I know. You think I’m crazy. (I probably am.) Most of you are more than ready to put away the winter coats in favor of flip flops. I get it. But it’s more than just saying goodbye to snowboarding for 7 months which, for the record, does bring a small tear to my eye. The winter months are when I’m ON. From the end of November until the end of March I’m pretty much working every single day. Never a day when I’m not in the kitchen cooking for others. Sometimes in the midst of it I get stressed out but for the most part, I thrive on a hectic schedule.
So now that the mountains are closed and most of my clients won’t make their way back to Park City until the next snow fall I find myself sitting idle. You know in-between umpteen loads of laundry, feeding children and tending to husbands. (For the record, I only have one husband.) And as crazy as it sounds, I’m having to adjust to this slower pace. I’m so used to being on the go all the time that I get a little anxious when I have too much time on my hands.
Shortly, these feelings will pass. They do every year. I will soon embrace the beautiful that comes with not having commitments every day. I will relish in the long lazy days spent outside with my husband and kids. I will reflect on the season that was and look forward to a new one in November. Until then, enjoy this super easy and delicious soup recipe that is the perfect antidote to the springtime blues.
Happy weekend to you all!
Spring Minnestrone with Mini Chicken Meatballs
- 1/2 lb. ground chicken breast
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, whisked to blend
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley
- 2 small green onions (scallions), minced (white parts & just tip of greens)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 leek, washed and sliced thinly
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup each: cleaned and diced carrots, asparagus & yellow squash
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 3/4 cup ditalini or other small pasta
- 1 cup packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Mix chicken, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, green onions, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Form into roughly 1/2-inch diameter meatballs. Place them on a baking sheet that has been covered with tinfoil and lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until fully cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare soup.
Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add leek to pot and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the diced carrots, asparagus, and yellow squash. Saute for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock; bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook 10 minutes. Add meatballs and chopped spinach and cook just until spinach is wilted and meatballs are warmed through. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit