Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ITALIAN MEATBALL SOUP


Its getting cold outside, I love the fall. Here is my favorite Italian soup recipe. I serve this with fresh, warm crusty bread. Don't skimp on the cheese in this recipe. If you can find it, a good quality parmigiano-reggiano cheese is key. I usually make my own meatballs for this. Small meatballs are better. You can use beef, turkey, chicken.. whatever you like. Or you can use frozen meatballs too!

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
5 1/2 cups- (42 oz) good quality chicken stock
2 1/2 cups water
20 meatballs- cooked
2 cans (14 oz) small white beans. I use cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1 (5-6 oz) bag fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup (or more!) finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a 5-6 qt pot over med high heat. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook about 4 minutes until veggies are soft and onions are pale golden. Stir in broth and water. Bring to a boil, covered. Add meatballs to soup along with beans. Bring to a brisk simmer, covered.
Stir occasionally and simmer until veggies are tender and meatballs are heated through, about 15 minutes.
Stir in spinach, cheese, salt and pepper -(add cheese first because the cheese is salty).
Simmer, uncovered until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
I add more cheese to each bowl and serve.
Makes 4 servings

Meatballs:
This is how I make my meatballs. Warning- I leaned how to cook using a handfull and a pinch. I also learned there is no such thing as too much cheese! So tweak as you see fit.
1 pound each of ground beef and ground pork (or turkey and chicken.. any combo you want)
Add 2 medium or 1 extra large egg. Add 2 small chopped or grated garlic cloves. Add 2 generous handfulls of seasoned, Italian bread crumbs. Add 1-2 generous handfulls of grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Add salt and pepper usually about 1 ts salt and 1/2 ts pepper. Combine all ingredients with your hands, just until mixed and absorbed. Dont over mix. Form into balls. I spray my broiler pan with nonstick spray and line the pan with the meatballs. That way, the grease drops down.
Cook 375-400 for about 30 minutes. They will finish cooking in the soup, if they arent completely cooked already.

3 comments:

Suz-- said...

Weight Watchers Points = 8

Suz-- said...

That's using lean ground turkey... but all the recommended cheese :)

Nancy said...

is that alot? :) You can cut down on the cheese, of course. But I'm Italian.. and cheese is a food group. So is wine, ha!