The cooler temps are here and that means "Soup's on!" at our house. My friend Jen made a Veggie Meatball Soup for us last week for lunch and it reminded me of this classic Italian "meatball" soup that's always a hit around here. This one even includes some healthy greens. Buon Appetito!
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup turkey bacon, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 cups organic chicken broth
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (adjust depending on how spicy you want it)
1 tablespoon parsley
1 bay leaf
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans) or 2 cups cooked beans
2 cups spinach leaves
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Approx. 30 small meatballs (You may use already prepared meatballs or mix the following ingredients together and roll your own meatballs.)
1 pound ground beef (grass-fed) (or use half ground beef/half ground turkey)
1/2 cup unseasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup raw whole milk
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cage-free egg, beaten
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together ingredients for meatballs and roll into bite-sized balls.
3. Place on a greased baking sheet with a rim. Bake meatballs for approximately 10 minutes so the meatballs will hold their shape in the soup.
4. Meanwhile, put a large soup pot or Dutch oven on the stove and heat olive oil at medium heat.
5. Chop onions, carrots, celery and ham and add to pot.
6. Mince garlic and add to pot.
7. Stir ingredients and heat until softened.
8. Add chicken broth, oregano, red pepper flakes, parsley and bay leaf.
9. Simmer 20 minutes over low heat.
10. Drop meatballs into simmering soup.
11. Cook approximately 10 more minutes.
12. Add beans, spinach leaves and parmesan cheese. Keep heat on low and cook 5 more minutes.