Prep 20 mins
Cook 45 mins
Delicious & healthy. Easily adapted to a variety of tastes. Use lean ground turkey with lots of garlic & seasonings to make the mini meatballs lower in fat or try it with low fat, hot italian sausage that's already seasoned! As the soup simmers the flavors are released throughout the soup. Try using a melon baller to measure the size of the meatballs. Use the smaller end to make mini meatballs or the larger end to make medium sized ones. The meatballs are also great in tomato sauce for spaghetti!
- 1 lb lean ground turkey or 1 lb lean hamburger
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste or 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons Italian spices
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 (32 ounce) containers low-fat chicken broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
- 1⁄2 lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 (16 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup pesto sauce
- 1⁄2 lb small shell pasta, orzo, elbows, alphabet, etc
- salt and pepper
- parmesan cheese or romano cheese, shredded
- In a medium sized bowl combine the ground meat, garlic, chili peppers, italian seasoning & salt.
- Using a melon baller or your hands form small meatballs.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the meatballs on medium heat until they are nicely browned on all sides. About 5 minutes.
- Add the onion and fry for an additional 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large soup pot or crockpot combine the remaining ingredients except pasta. Add the meatballs and stir gently to mix well.
- Bring to a gentle boil and simmer until all the veggies are tender and tasty about 45 minutes or if using a crockpot 4-5 hours on high, 8 hours on low.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- When the veggies are tender place 1/4 cup cooked pasta in a bowl, fill with soup and sprinkle with parmesian or romano cheese.
- Excellent if served with crusty bread and a salad!