Mini Meatball Minestrone
This soup is absolutely delicious! A family favorite, my 4 year old son calls it "Meaty Meatball Yummy Soup". It's packed with healthy veggies, which you can vary according to your family's taste. Don't let the long ingredient list fool you - it is simple and quick to prepare with ingredients you usually have on hand. You can substitute fresh vegetables for the canned; I created this in winter when I had more canned and frozen items on hand than fresh. Leave the meatballs out if you are short on time or want to skip the meat. You can also make the meatballs in advance and freeze them to add later. We like to serve this with a fresh green salad and good multi grain bread.
- Ready In:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1⁄4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese (or a mix of Parmesan and Romano)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups tomato juice or 2 cups vegetable juice
- 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 1 (15 1/2 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup uncooked small shell pasta, such as elbows
To prepare the meatballs:
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and roll into 1/2 inch meatballs.
- Place on a cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes or until brown.
- To prepare soup (while meatballs are cooking):.
- Heat oil in a large stockpot. Saute the onions until softened and lightly brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute 2 minutes longer.
- Add stock, juice, green beans, carrots, kidney beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer on medium low for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add meatballs.
- Add pasta, cover pot, and cook about 10 minutes longer.