Christmas Eve at our house is a grazing event, and always has been. I grew up in a clergy family and married into a clergy family, so we always have people coming and going at odd hours, and needing a little bite to eat on their way out the door, or after shoveling, or between toy assembling sessions. This soup fits the bill nicely, and it even made a nice Christmas Day lunch before the gorge-fest later in the evening. I like that it’s a little bit light and has lots of veggies in it, since I’m always paranoid about getting sick this time of year. The recipe (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics) calls for making 40 meatballs, but I only made two dozen large meatballs, because the meat mixture was so sticky that I couldn’t separate them very well. They turned out fine, and actually didn’t take any longer to cook than the recommended time for the smaller meatballs.