Herbed Meatball Minestrone

My grandma is one of my favorite people ever. Every week she mails me a letter, some coupons she thinks I’ll be able to use, and an article or two from my hometown newspaper. Last week it was a recipe for Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes and this one for Herbed Meatball Minestrone. I’ve been on a soup kick this winter and dove right in, my notes are included.(You’ll have to forgive the iPhone photo, I wasn’t expecting to share it.)


Herbed Meatball Minestrone

• 1/2 Tbsp fennel seeds
• 1 tsp oregano
• 6 oz. very lean ground beef (I used 16 oz.)
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1/2 C sliced onion
• 1/2 C sliced carrots
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 C canned whole tomatoes, including juice (I used petite diced)
• 1 C tomato juice (I used tomato sauce)
• 2 C chicken broth
• 2 C water
• 1/2 C acini pepe pasta (I used Domini, slightly larger)
• 1/2 C canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 2 C washed, ready to eat spinach
• 1/2 C fresh basil, torn into small pieces (I used 2 Tbsp dried)
• 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I used asiago)

Mix fennel seeds and oregano into ground beef. Add salt and pepper and form into 1 1/2″ meatballs. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized, nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat (I used my Dutch oven). Brown meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes. They will be cooked through. Remove to a plate and add onion, carrot, and garlic to pan. Saute 2 minutes without browning the vegetables. Add the whole tomatoes, including juice, and break them up with the edge of a spoon. Add the tomato juice, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Add pasta, reduce heat slightly and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add chickpeas, spinach and basil to soup. Return meatballs, stir and cook to wilt spinach, about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in large soup bowls with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Make 2-4 servings.

PS: If you don’t plan on serving all of the soup at once keep the pasta separate, otherwise it will soak up all the excess liquid.

1 Comment
  • lloydowens

    March 1, 2011 at 9:00 am Reply

    Ive never been a Minestrone fan… BUT this looks too good to pass up. I will be trying this very soon!!

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