Fragrant Chicken Soup with Meatballs
Polpettine Di Pollo In Umido
In a large bowl add all the ingredients for the meatballs. Mix the ingredients using your hands, stirring well to incorporate, until they form a large homogenous meatball.
Make about 21 meatballs, approximately 2 inch long and 1 ½ inch wide. Place them in a bowl, cover and put aside.
In a large sauce pan add the olive oil, the diced carrots, the chopped Onions, the garlic cloves, the red pepper flakes, the dry Thyme, the dry Sage, dry Marjoram, the dry Oregano,. Salt, and Pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring well every 5 minutes. Add the barley and the chopped parsley, mix well and cook 5 more minutes.
Add the chicken stock, bring over high heat, then simmer for 15 minutes, stirring well every 5 minutes.
Bring the stock back to a boil over high heat add the chicken meatballs one at the time stirring well to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan, cook for 5 minutes. Reduce to a simmer and cook with the lid on, slightly ajar, for 20 minutes, stirring well every 10 minutes.
Take off the lid and simmer for 40 minutes , stirring well every 10 minutes.
Serve the meatballs and the fragrant chicken soup in deep bowls, top each bowl with 1-2 tbsp. of grated parmesan cheese.
“The importance of stirring.”
Stirring “well” might appear to be nothing more the a tedious chore. However, while often repetitive, it is important to insure the even cooking of all the ingredients. By stirring properly we prevent the food from sticking to the bottom of the pan, especially when we cook with high heat. Yet, to me, it fulfils a child-like fascination, a need to be connected, more involved with the food that I am preparing. Some time, I dream that I am a maestro, conducting a symphony of culinary delights. To add drama to the whole process, often I bang on the side of the pan while I stir, as if keeping tempo with a melodramatic aria. While this does absolutely nothing to improve the flavor, it works well as a mean of impressing the casual onlookers.