Health, Culture, and Chicken Soup

A staple in my life these past 6 years have been afternoon pick ups at school - meeting the moms of my children’s friends at the schoolyard, and enjoying their company immensely for the few minutes we have! While the kids race around and laugh and wrestle and play. These moments have become some of the most memorable and lovely and humorous moments in my life, with these women who are as different and diverse as you can imagine. Yet we find a camaraderie and love for one another based in the love we have for our kids, and this has resulted in deep relationships that are of such great value to me!

What has been amazing to me about these friendships is that we come from all over - there are vast cultural differences between each of us, and yet this strengthens our bond because we embrace these things in each other - finding them fascinating and endearing, and also reflective of ourselves.

These women are all executives and business owners and professors - skilled career women!  Who never stop investing in their careers, investing in themselves, and never stop investing in their homes.  They want to create a culture in their home that is both cushion and a springboard for their children, providing comfort and encouragement, back rubs and goal setting strategies, in hopes that their kids will be WHOLE.

One day in the yard, our conversation turned to dinner - because after writing books and developing restaurants and changing the world, they want to feed their family well!  One of us declared that they were making chicken soup that night, which sparked a discussion of how she was going to make it, how long it took, what her kids liked about it and all the things.  We each took turns describing our family chicken soup recipes, that were staples in our home cooking and highly desired by our kiddos.  Each recipe had its intricacies that made it unique! And each was comforting and grounding and food at its finest.  We all decided tonight was the perfect night for chicken soup.

Later in the evening after supervision of homework had been accomplished and instruments practiced, each of us began to create a meal for our families.  Our group text got lively as we texted each other pictures of each stage, and the victorious finished product - our kids eating it!


**find out about my F.A.M.E. Recipe techniques and training - Fast, Amazing, Meals, made Easy!!!  I will work with you to cultivate or create family meals that become famous in your home.


Here is my chicken soup recipe - passed down from my Italian Grandma. Some may call it Italian wedding soup, we just always called it “meatball soup”.  I share this recipe with you in hopes that you would embrace your unique culture and build habits that cultivate a beautiful comfort and encouragement-filled home! (I hope that you will embrace the creative measuring techniques, as they are the most fun way to cook, in my opinion :))

The experience of eating this soup is nourishing in more ways than just physical. It makes me feel whole, well, and at home.  It connects me to my family and brings me to a place of thankfulness as I remember those I love!  I am convinced that there is more to health than just vitamins and nutrients, kale salads and goji berries… and experts agree. This recipe is not gluten free, not dairy free, not vegan - not “healthy” by our current American cultural standards.  But it brings health in a way that foods in these categories may not.  The majority of my diet is plant based, and most days I eat like my friends here and here. But there are times when a comforting feast is in order! And that feast brings health and nourishment to my body as well.

What recipes bring you to this place of comfort and thankfulness?? How can you cultivate this feeling of “home” more often so that you feel WHOLE and well?? I would love to work with you to bring more health to your life in these ways.

Meatball Soup

Start with the broth:

Fill a large pot or dutch oven ⅔ of the way full.  Add 5-6 chicken legs, one onion (cut in half), 4-5 carrots, and 4-5 stalks of celery.  Make sure all these ingredients are submerged - if not, add a tad more water. Season with a small handful of parsley, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.   

Continue to simmer for 30ish minutes, until the meat starts to fall off of the bones.  Make the meatballs while the soup simmers!  

Gramma’s Meatballs

  • 2lb grassfed ground beef
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 handful of romano cheese
  • 2 handfuls of plain breadcrumbs
  • Generous pinch of dried parsley, dried basil, and dried oregano
  • Small pinch of salt and pepper

Mix these ingredients together with clean hands.  My kiddos love this experience - especially my daughter! The mixture should feel firm and wet, not dry or cracking apart.  If it feels too moist, add more cheese and breadcrumbs.  If it is too dry, add another egg. This is not an exact science, these are meatballs.

Remove the chicken legs and set aside.  (You can use these in a chicken salad for the next day, or save them for a quick dinner paired with roasted veggies! My children love these chicken drumsticks in any form.) Remove and discard the veggies. You will be left with a rich broth that will make you feel healed from the day’s ailments just by looking at it! Breath it in, deeply.  

Add the meatballs (slowly) into the broth and bring back to a simmer.  While meatballs are cooking, fill a separate pot with water, and bring to a boil.  When boiling, add 2C orzo and cook until softened. Drain orzo in a collander, then place back into the pot. Add a tbsp of butter to flavor and keep the orzo from sticking together. 

Cook meatballs for about 10 minutes.  Then add 3 C baby carrots.  Simmer for 15-20 min more until meatballs are cooked through and carrots are softened.   

Serve a generous ladle of the soup over a bed of buttery orzo.  And feast :), remembering those you love.