Grace Parisi has always been a fan of mushroom barley soup with beef that has been simmered until succulent. For a clever shortcut that still delivers deep flavor, she replaces the beef with meatballs made from a quick mix of sirloin, egg, bread crumbs and cheese.
Melissa Rubel cleverly uses chicken sausage here: removing the casings, shaping the meat into balls, browning them and simmering them in chicken broth. If you have leftover cooked rice on hand, feel free to substitute it for the orzo.
Spinach and pureed poblano chiles (sautéed with garlic and cumin) give this chili a swamp-like look that's fun on Halloween. Before serving, Grace Parisi stirs in hominy and little chicken-and-pork meatballs.
Flavored with Parmesan and garlic and studded with raisins, scrumptious Sicilian meatballs turn vegetable soup into a tempting meal. If the soup waits, the pasta may absorb much of the liquid; just add water or more stock.