Mini Meatball Minestrone
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: a large pot of soup, enough for several!
 
An Italian Wedding Style soup bringing mini meatballs and minestrone vegetables together! Wonderful with toasted bread.
What to get:
To Make the Meatballs:
  • 1 package (1.25 lbs) lean ground chicken (or turkey in my case)
  • ½ chopped sweet onion
  • 3 cloves garlic. chopped
  • 1 egg
  • S&P, red pepper flakes, paprika, Italian seasoning.
  • 2 T freshly chopped basil
  • ¼ cup shredded Italian cheese blend, or parmesan
  • ¾ cup dry bread crumbs, Italian seasoned if you have
  • *3 T EVOO for browning meatballs
For the Soup:
  • 1 (32 oz) carton low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans, low sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz Stelline dry pasta (or approximate)
  • 1.5 cups dry white wine
  • ½ chopped sweet onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped.
  • 1 zucchini, sliced and cut into quarters.
  • 1 cup sliced baby carrots
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 large leek, well cleaned & chopped
  • 2 T butter
  • S&P, dried thyme (to taste)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest & squeeze of fresh lemon
  • *Sourdough or other bread toasted for dipping
What to do:
Make Meatballs:
  1. Combine all meatball ingredients (minus EVOO) in a bowl and roll out, small, meatballs and place aside on wax paper. (about ½ inch in diameter)
  2. In preheated soup pot on stove, brown meatballs in the EVOO on all sides, for about 6 min.
  3. Transfer lightly browned meatballs to a 375 degree oven to finish cooking for about 8-10 mins.
  4. Remove meatballs from oven & pan and set aside, reserving large pot with drippings.
Prep Soup Ingredients:
  1. Wash all veggies.
  2. For leek, slice both white & green portions and wash by submerging in a bowl of cold water to remove any sand/dirt. Repeat and drain in colander.
  3. Slice zucchini and quarter slices
  4. Slice baby carrots
  5. Peel & chop garlic cloves & chop onion
  6. Remove stems from pre-washed baby spinach.
Begin Soup:
  1. Place soup pot with meatball drippings back to heat and deglaze with ½ cup white wine, scraping brown bits form bottom.
  2. To this add onion & garlic, cooking aromatic til tender, about 8 mins.
  3. To this add zucchini and carrot & 2 Tbs of butter.
  4. Continue to stir for about 8 mins more, and add chopped leaks.
  5. To this add another ½ cup white wine and stir till tender.
  6. Add salt & pepper and once leaks are tender add 32 o carton of chicken stock.
  7. Bring to slow boil and add meatballs and any juices back to pot.
  8. To this add ½ cup wine and 8 oz of pasta.
  9. Reduce heat to medium and stir often.
  10. Add a can of the chicken broth
  11. Add seasoning as desired
  12. Let simmer on low for about 20 min, with lid ajar.
  13. Add lemon zest, squeeze of juice and continue to simmer on low.
  14. Lastly add fresh spinach, stirring well to combine.
  15. Toast bread for dipping and turn off heat on stove. Let soup remain simmering in pot off heat as long as desired.
  16. **Serve with shredded basil & parmesan for garnish, with toasted bread. Enjoy!
Notes:
The homemade meatballs in this soup make it extra special and we're loading it with fresh veggies. Italian inspired & a true one pot comfort meal. I went with turkey meatballs, but ground chicken or pork meatballs would be equally as delicious. Second helpings required!
Recipe by the dinnervine at http://www.dinnervine.com/2012/03/meatball-minestrone-soup/