1 (4 pound) whole chicken
1 large onion
6 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
9 carrots, sliced
1 sweet potato, cubed
½ medium head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans of chicken broth
2 (6 ounce) cans of roasted garlic tomato paste
1 ½ pounds of lean ground beef
½ cup of dry breadcrumbs
½ cup of grated Romano cheese
1 (16 ounce) package acini di pepe pasta
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese for topping
In a large stockpot, place the chicken, whole onion and cans of broth. Add enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and cook until the chicken is falling off the bones.
Remove the chicken from the pot and separate the meat from the bones. Tear chicken into bite sized pieces and return them to the soup pot. Remove the onion from the broth, chop and return to the pot. Add the celery, carrots, sweet potato and cabbage. Stir in the tomato paste.
In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs and Romano cheese. Mix well with your hands then form into walnut sized balls. Add the balls to the soup. Continue to cook the soup for an additional hour, or until vegetables are tender.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Serve the soup over pasta and top each bowl with a generous pinch of grated Parmesan cheese.