This is a recipe we had all the time growing up. We were a family of nine, and my mom brought this out when it was getting close to payday and money was tight. It was a great budget meal. As adults, I can say all of my siblings and me continue to make this soup. We love it.
Use a large stock pot. Rinse chicken, inside and out. Place in stock pot and cover with water. Add the onion. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the cooked chicken from the pot. When cool enough to handle, remove chicken meat and add back to the stock pot. Discard skin, fat, bones, etc.
Add carrots and celery to the stock pot and continue to simmer. Meanwhile make meatballs.
Mix the chopmeat, eggs and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Form into mini meatballs and drop into the soup. Simmer soup until meatballs are cooked through and celery and carrots are soft. Add tomato paste and stir. You can skim any foam from the top of the soup at this point.
We normally make small pasta - ditalini, elbows, small shells or any type of small pasta to go along with this. Do NOT add to the soup. Make the pasta, add to your bowl and ladle soup over top. Garnish with parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty italian bread and you have a meal. There will be leftovers! You can also freeze the soup.