|6 oz||Ground chicken|
|1/2 cup||Fresh bread crumbs|
|6 tbs||Finely grated Parmesan cheese|
|4 cloves||Garlic (2 minced, 2 thinly sliced)|
|2 tbs||Chopped fresh chives|
|Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper|
|2 tbs||Extra virgin olive oil|
|5 cups||Low-salt chicken broth|
|3/4 cup||Ditalini or other small pasta|
|1 cup||1/2 inch rounds peeled carrots|
|1 cup||Baby spinach|
|Chopped fresh basil|
Mix chicken, breadcrumbs, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, 2 minced garlic cloves, chives, egg, 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl, form into 1/2 inch diameter meatballs (makes about 28).
Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat. Cook meatballs until golden all over. About 3 minutes (they will finish cooking in soup). Transfer to plate; set aside.
Add leek to pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves; cook for 1 minute. add broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and carrots; simmer until pasta is almost al dente, about 8 minutes. Add meatballs; simmer until pasta is al dente, carrots are tender, meatballs are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and remaining Parmesan; stir until spinach is wilted and Parmesan is melted. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped basil and Parmesan.