Back to Home About Mango & Tomato Contact MePublicity & News Hire Me!Portfolio


Chickarina Soup From Valerie's Home Cooking Cookbook

Looking for a different take on chicken noodle soup? I recommend you try Valerie Bertinelli's Chickarina Soup. This is the second recipe I made from Valerie Bertinelli's new cookbook, which I received as a review copy from the book's publisher. {Here's the first recipe I made.} 

It's been too long since I cooked with Israeli couscous, aka pearl couscous, which are larger than regular couscous, but not to be mistaken for grain. It's basically little balls of pasta, and there's nothing wrong with it!

Chickarina Soup
Reprinted with permission from the publisher

  • 3/4 pound ground chicken
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh pecorino romano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrot 
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup uncooked pearl couscous
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat the broiler with the oven rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and coat with cooking spray. Gently combine the chicken, egg white, salt, pepper, and half of the pecorino romano. Scoop the mixture into meatballs using a 1/2-inch cookie scoop, and place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet. Broil until the meatballs are lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add the onion, carrot, and celery; cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Add the couscous, garlic, and rosemary; cook, stirring often, until the couscous is lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs, and cook until the couscous is tender and the meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Top with the parsley and remaining half of the pecorino romano.
The pearl couscous may be switched for rice or ditalini pasta, but the pearls are true to the original.
Trick Technique:
Don’t have a cookie scoop? These mini meatballs can also be formed by using a piping bag or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off. Simply spoon the sticky chicken mixture into the bag and squeeze out 1/2-inch meatballs.

1) Definitely increase the amount of carrots: I doubled it, but could have tripled it.
2) I made my meatballs larger, and was happy with the results.
3) This soup is great as leftovers.
4) I think the soup could benefit from adding defrosted peas.
5) I left out rosemary because I'm not a huge fan of it: the soup still had plenty of flavor.

Happy cooking and slurping!!