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A very Vegas Thanksgiving menu: Chickarina soup

Chickarina soup

John DeLoach of Lavo

Most Americans know this dish as Italian wedding soup, but when chef John DeLoach of Lavo was growing up his family served this hearty, flavorful soup for every major holiday. Starting the fortified brood, or broth, for this dish a day ahead will ensure you have plenty of time to prepare the rest of your Thanksgiving meal … and maybe even a few extra minutes for yourself.

Fortified brodo


64 oz. of chicken stock (Nature’s Promise)

1 whole free-range chicken

2 oz. parsley, stems and leaves

8 oz. onion, diced

8 oz. celery, diced

8 oz. carrot, diced

6 whole garlic cloves

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

Directions: Do the day before: Put all ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let brodo simmer for one hour. After an hour, remove chicken from pot and allow it cool. When it’s cool enough to touch, remove all the meat from the bones, return bones to the pot and cook an extra half hour. Strain and refrigerate the broth. Dice chicken and put aside. When broth is cool, skim fat from the top.



1 head escarole, sliced and washed very well

1 cup carrots, diced

1 cup onions, diced

1 cup celery, diced

8 oz. Acini di pepe pasta (also known as pastina)

8 oz. meatball mix, rolled into ¼ oz. balls

1 oz. parsley, chopped

8 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a large stock pot add all the vegetables to brodo and bring to a boil. Cook vegetables until just tender. Add Acini di pepe pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Lower the flame to a simmer and add the mini meatballs. Heat an additional 5 minutes until meatballs are fully cooked. Add chicken and heat thoroughly. Garnish soup with parsley and cheese.

Next: Orchard salad by Serendipity.

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Sarah Feldberg is the editor of Las Vegas Weekly magazine. A veteran journalist, Feldberg previously worked as the Weekly's web ...

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