Lily’s Favorite Italian Soup – Confidence

“Confidence” recipes are a series of recipes for folks who have a pretty good handle on their skills in the kitchen.

Italian Soup and parmesan cheese in a bowl
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Lily’s Favorite Italian Soup

Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time1 hr



  • 1 pound ground chicken (boneless skinless thighs if you are grinding the meat yourself)
  • ½ tsp finely crushed garlic
  • ½ C breadcrumbs
  • ¼ C shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Fresh cracked pepper


  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery finely diced
  • 1 large carrot finely diced
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 8 C chicken stock See Chicken Stock recipe
  • 1 C diced cooked chicken See Roast Chicken recipe
  • 1 can great northern beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1 small can no salt added tomato sauce
  • ½ pound ditalini pasta cooked to package directions and cooled
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Fresh parmesan to serve optional


To start, make the meatballs:

  • Mix all ingredients for meatballs together and make meatballs in either ¼ to ½ inch rounds.
  • I prefer smaller meatballs but feel free to find a good size for yourself.

While you form the meatballs, make the ditalini:

  • Prepare the ditalini pasta according to the package directions, to al dente doneness.
  • Once done cooking, strain and cool thoroughly.

Once the meatballs are prepared, or while someone else is making the meatballs:

  • In a 5 quart stock pot, add the butter and melt until bubbly.
  • Cook the onions, then add celery.
  • Once the celery is bright green, add the carrots and cook for 4 minutes
  • Add the garlic to the pot.
  • Now add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Once the veggies and stock are boiling:

  • Turn the heat on the stove down to medium-high.
  • Add the chicken, canned ingredients, and meatballs.
  • Allow to simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Add the cooled ditalini pasta to the pot and allow to cook for 5 more minutes.


Serving suggestions:
Serve the same day with freshly shredded parmesan cheese.
Refrigerate leftovers immediately.

Need more help? See my “Need A Hand” version of this recipe.

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