We are having soup weather here in the Pacific NW. Sometimes I feel like a broken record talking about my love of soup. (I just had a thought, do kids today know what a broken record sounds like? Wow, things that make you go hmmmm.) I have tulips coming up; it’s not supposed to be snowing and snowing and snowing. I apologize to my Minnesota cousins for whining about less than a foot of snow, but we live here for a reason and that reason is 55 degree weather in winter. Also, have you all noticed how I can blow through a plethora of subjects in less than 3 sentences? Moving on.
I started making this soup when Chris was still in high school. I have always loved one dish meals and soup is the prime example of a one dish meal. For me, it’s all about the broth. This one is very flavorful considering the short time it cooks. I would be happy to just have broth in my bowl, but people get cranky when all they get are meatballs and veggies. The small size of the meatballs make them a one bite option. I prefer not having to cut a meatball with a spoon. Don’t forget about patting out your meatball mixture to get evenly sized meatballs when forming. This really helps when making 1/2 inch balls.
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup panko
1 cup room temperature water
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon each dry oregano and basil
7 cups chicken broth
1 can (15 ounces) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 ounce) kidney beans, undrained
1 cup each thinly sliced carrots and celery
1 cup rotelle or other pasta twists
Salt as needed
Squeeze all the moisture from the spinach. Combine spinach, beef, panko, egg, water and pepper. Form into ½ inch balls. Place meatballs well apart in a rimmed baking pan. Bake in a 500 degree oven until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Heat oil in Dutch oven; add onion, garlic, oregano and basil. Cook, stirring, until limp. Add broth, tomatoes (broken into pieces) and beans; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add carrots and celery; boil gently for 10 minutes. Add meatballs and heat through. Salt to taste. I cook the pasta in a separate pan and add it when ready to serve, so the soup doesn’t get too thick.
* From the Recipe Box:
This feeds G and I the day I make it plus 2 future meals in the freezer.
Don’t forget the Parmesan.
I buy 2 of the 32 ounce containers of chicken broth and I end up using it all.
and remember: I would rather be someone’s shot of bourbon than everyone’s cup of tea. Big kiss, Lynn