Sunday, February 24, 2013

Horse Camp, The Munsters and Chicken Meatball Spinach Orzo Soup #SundaySupper

Horse Camp- circa 1982

I’m an introvert (it's true!)  But I've never been afraid of just going for it, especially in my early years.

I met my horse two weeks before and we seemed to get on well enough.  I’d fed him and cleaned his hooves and learned proper saddling. But that day- the last day of camp, I flew. It was pure canter with him.

Sitting on his back trotting around the ring, while all the parents waited anxiously in the stands for the final , I froze.  I couldn't breathe. But I focused on the sound of his hooves hitting the dirt in perfect synchronicity, while he circled on a long lead round and around.

Not sure how I made it up that day. and if wasn't for a letter home from camp that my Mom showed me over the holidays, I'd have thought it was a dream.  Me, standing on his back, arms stretched out to the side- flying.  My horse, that day, ran in circles for what seemed like forever... while time stood still.

At 12, we were naive  We were wannabe gymnasts, doing tricks on the backs of our beloved horses. And falling meant something very different then, than now.  Perhaps because we knew someone was always there to pick us back up.

So what does that have to do with soup?

When I think of soup, even now, time stands still. I remember the smell of Mom's homemade soup simmering on the stove through really good times, some hard times... and even a few heartbreaks.

Nights that were so cold, we thought we just might die (yea, I lived in Santa Barbara and had no idea of the true meaning of cold).  The time when we wanted a simple, but good and hearty meal after that long drive home from Horse Camp.  And those days that I was picked up from school with sniffles, or a sore throat, or even when I wiped out on the playground bars and needed 3 stitches on the right side of my forehead.  Mom, would heat up some Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup (with ice cubes to then cool it down) while I would watch the Munsters.  Funny, as for the next few weeks Herman Munster and I could have passed for twins.

So, soup? Simple.  It's a place of comfort and safety that magically wipes out any fear of falling (or failing).

Soup is good food.

And this Sunday, our theme is just that.  Special thanks to our host this week, Pam at and all the amazing contributors.  Sure to be one of my favorite weeks yet- can't wait to try these recipes!
Chicken Meatball Spinach Soup

1 lb. ground chicken
2 large boxes chicken broth (add as much or as little as you'd like- but I like making alot for leftovers)
1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 leeks, washes well and sliced into thin half moons (just the white part)
1/2 lb. orzo
1/2 package fresh spinach
Juice of a lime (this is key as it add such a nice bright flavor.  I add to almost all my soups.)
1 tablespoon seasonings of choice (I use from Penzeys)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Romano Cheese, grated (optional)

Open chicken packet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Then roll into 1-1/2" balls.  Brown in a skillet with oil, and sprinkle on seasonings if desired.  In the meantime, in a soup pot add the leeks and onions to oil, salt and pepper and saute until soft.  Add in the chicken broth and seasonings of choice and bring to a boil. Then add in the orzo and cook according to package directions- about 8 minutes.  Once soft, add in the spinach, juice of the lime and the meatballs to warm and wilt the spinach for just a few minutes.  Ladle it up in bowls and top with Romano cheese.

Want more soup recipes? The #SundaySupper family dug out their stock pots and slow cookers to serve up these amazing soups:

Do The Chicken Dance (chicken {or other poultry} soups)

  • Chicken Tortellini & White Bean Soup at
  • Chicken Gnocchi at
  • Chicken Cheese Soup by
  • Chicken Tortellini Soup by
  • Chicken Soup with Leeks, Onions and Fennel by
  • Family Style Tablescape featuring Chicken Tortilla Soup by
  • Yucatan Chicken Lime Soup (Sopa de Lima) by
  • Chicken Meatball, Spinach and Orzo Soup from
  • Ground Turkey and Vegetable Soup at
  • Cheesy Chipotle Chicken Sausage Chowder by
  • Chick-Fil-A Chicken Noodle Soup by
  • Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup at
  • Healthy Bean and Sausage Soup by

Where’s The Beef (Beef Soups)

  • Chili with Black Beans by
  • Vegetable and Beef Soup by
  • Swabian Beef Spaetzle +1 Soup (Gaisburger Marsch) at
  • Bacon Cheeseburger Soup by
  • Beef Pho Soup by
  • Frijol con Carne by
  • Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef and Noodle Soup) by

Pass The Pork. Please (Pork or Sausage Soups)

  • Smoked Sausage and Wild Rice Soup at
  • Louisiana Caldo by
  • Sweet potato and Spanish chorizo soup at
  • Soft Tofu Soup (Soondubu Jjigae) by

Under The Sea (Seafood Soups)

  • Shrimp Miso Noodle Soup at
  • Szechuan Fish Soup by
  • New England Clam Chowder at
  • Hearty Okra Shrimp Gumbo Laced with Coconut Oil by
  • Bacon and Shrimp Bisque at
  • Lobster Bisque by
  • Chinese Fish Maw Soup by
  • Thai Curry Coconut Mussel Soup by

Eat Your Veggies (Chock Full o’ Vegetables Soups)

  • Not-So-Mini-Strone at T
  • French Onion Soup by
  • Spicy Sweet Potato and Corn Soup at
  • Creamy Cheddar Potato Soup at
  • Rather French Onion Soup by
  • Broccoli Cheddar Soup by
  • Cream of Ancho Chile Soup from
  • Pasta e Fagoli Soup at
  • Miso Soup by
  • Vegetable Consommé with Semolina Dumplings – Grießknödel at
  • Vegetable Medley Soup with Broccoli and Leeks at
  • Yamato Soup at
  • Smoky Kale and Tomato Soup with Garlic Croutons by
  • Coconut Corn Chowder at
  • Make Your Own (Gluten Free) Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup at
  • Ital Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup at
  • Chunky Vegetable and Barley Soup at
  • Corn Soup with Crispy Tortilla Strips at
  • Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup by
  • Wild Mushroom Soup at
  • Tomato Basil Soup with Cous Cous at
  • Creamy Carrot Soup at
  • Vermicelli Soup by
  • Country Split Pea Soup with Bacon and Potatoes at

Some Don’t Like It Hot (Chilled Soups)

  • Chilled Strawberry Soup at
  • Bread and Tomato Soup – Gazpacho Style at


  1. This is a complete meal, not just soup Diana! Isn´t it the ultimate comfort food? I love that it brings back memories of your horse. Have a great day!

    1. Thank you so much, Paula! And yes, we've had it two nights in a row... so comforting on cold rainy nights here in the South! ;-)

  • What a wonderful story! I can see you now, flying on the back of your beautiful horse. And what a tasty warm and comforting soup, I love the combination of orzo, spinach and leeks. And I completely agree about the drizzle of lime!

    1. Lots of fun memories at Horse Camp... thank Stacy! Thank you so much for stopping by here!

  • I love meatball soup! This looks so comforting. And your description makes me wish I was still young enough to have my mom take care of me when I'm sick with some great homemade soup.

    1. Hi Courtney! Thanks so much. Yea, I wish I could be a kid again some times too. Luckily when I go home to visit my folks, my Mom still makes homey, yummy soup!

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  • I agree, citrus gives such a nice bright flavor to soup! You know, I had to chuckle when I read how cold it was in Santa Barbara :)

    Fantastic recipe! ~ Bea @ Galactosemia in PDX

    1. Thanks, Bea! And yes, the first time I visited my folks after they moved to the South, I got off the plane in shorts and tennies in the dead of Winter (no jacket.) It was then that I truly understood cold lol! ;-) Thanks for stopping by!

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