March 5, 2007

Vegetable Soup...with Meatballs

Now that it’s finally warming up outside, let me take this perfect opportunity to tell you about one of my favorite soups! I'm sure it will get cold again before we see Spring, so keep this one in mind! This is such an adaptable recipe - I really adore it. I almost always have the ingredients and it’s one of my feel-good favorites.

Although this soup is a Rachael Ray spin-off, I’ll refrain from calling it delish, or a stoup, or using an insane amount of hand gestures. In a previous post, I confessed my love of kale, which I prefer to the escarole used in many Italian soups, but escarole or spinach would work just fine if you prefer them. This soup combines mini-meatballs simmered in chicken broth with wilted kale, white beans and other vegetables. You could equally use small shell pasta instead of the white beans, or even diced potatoes. I personally love pasta in this, but I never enjoy how it reheats the next day. The pasta absorbs all the liquid and gets soggy and that’s not good.

So, making really flavorful meatballs should be the highest priority in this soup. I like this recipe, but use your favorite meatball recipe, if you have one. I appreciate that this soup is filling without being too heavy; it’s comforting without being a gut-buster as Rachael so eloquently describes some of her meals. This recipe comes together so quickly, I was actually surprised how little effort it took the first time I made it, making it a gift of a weeknight meal.

Mini-Meatball and Vegetable Soup

1 lb ground beef or a mixture of beef and pork
2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped or grated
½ onion, minced
½ cup grated parmesan
½ cup bread crumbs
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
Black pepper
Fresh parsley or basil, chopped

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
Few sprigs fresh thyme
3-4 cups fresh kale, washed and chopped
1 (15 oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained
Grated parmesan, for topping

In a large mixing bowl, prepare the meatballs by combining the ground meat and the next 10 ingredients. Set aside.

Chop the vegetables while you heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a large soup pot. Saute the onions, carrots, and celery until softened, 4-5 minutes. Throw in a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

Once the broth is simmering, start forming small meatballs and dropping them in the soup. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through. Simmering gently will help to ensure tender meatballs. Add the chopped kale and white beans. Cover and simmer 5-10 minutes more until the kale is completely wilted.

Serve with some toasted garlic bread and topped with a little grated parmesan.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Just my kind of soup and perfect as we warm into spring! And now that I know I love will be a natural!
Well done!

erika said...

I stumbled across your blog and have really enjoyed it! I made your vegetable soup with meatballs yesterday and it's fantastic! Thank you so much for helping me update my boring old chicken soup recipe.

Anonymous said...

This is typically known as "Italian Wedding Soup".

AmericnJewl said...

Made this last night. So delish! ;-) I was so surprised how quick it was to prepare and cook up! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I made this soup today and my husband LOVED it. He couldnt stop eating! This will now be my standard meatball recipe. Thankyou so much!

Sonya said...

I found your blog with a google search of 'meatball veggie soup' and I'm excited to try this recipe. It sounds perfect for our cool nearly fall day. Thanks!