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Tiny chicken meatball and orzo soup with silverbeet and feta

Recipe for tiny chicken meatball and orzo soup with silverbeet and feta.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Tiny chicken meatball and orzo soup with silverbeet and feta
Cooler weather calls for comforting food and this meal-in-a-bowl fits the bill, with plenty of autumn greens and small pasta to add sustenance. We love the tiny meatballs, but if you don't have the time or patience, by all means make them larger - just give them a little more cooking time in the broth.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 baby fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 100 gm orzo or risoni
  • 500 gm silverbeet (about ½ bunch), leaves only, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup each coarsely chopped dill, oregano and flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
  • Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
  • To serve: coarsely crumbled Greek feta
Tiny chicken meatballs
  • 400 gm minced chicken thigh
  • 30 gm finely grated Greek feta
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp each dried mint and dried Greek oregano
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon


  • 1
    For tiny chicken meatballs, mix ingredients in a bowl with your hands to combine, season to taste and roll into hazelnut-sized balls. Place on a tray, cover and refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, fennel and garlic, and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Add stock and bay leaf, season to taste and simmer until well flavoured (8-10 minutes). Bring to the boil, add orzo and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally to stop orzo sticking to the base of the pan (4-5 minutes). Add silverbeet and meatballs, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through (2-3 minutes). Add herbs and lemon juice, check seasoning and serve scattered with feta, extra herbs and fennel fronds.


Drink Suggestion: Crisp Greek assyrtiko. Drink suggestion by Max Allen