Tags

, , , , , , , ,

You just can’t beat a steamy pot of soup bubbling on the stove during a dark, cool evening.  My Italian Meatball and Vegetable Soup is healthy, but won’t leave you hungry after a long day at work.  It’s packed with a variety of vegetables and tasty, homemade turkey parmesan meatballs.  It makes a big batch for freezing or having friends over for a rustic dinner.  Serve with some crusty wheat bread for dipping, a big green salad tossed in light vinaigrette, and you’ve got an easy meal for not a lot of money.

Add any vegetable you’d like to this flavor filled soup.  The meatballs can easily be made ahead, and the soup is even better leftover after setting in the fridge a day or two.  Serve up a bowl tonight ~ you won’t be disappointed.

Don’t be deterred by the longer list of ingredients, most of them involve opening a can, or tossing in seasonings. Gluten-free options below.

ITALIAN MEATBALL & VEGETABLE SOUP

serves 12

  • 1 small ONION, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups CARROT, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups CELERY, chopped, (including leaves)
  • 4-5 cloves GARLIC, minced
  • 2 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
  • 6 oz PURE TOMATO PASTE
  • 14.5 oz TOMATOES, DICED WITH JUICE (1 can)
  • 6 cups CHICKEN BROTH, LOW SODIUM*
  • 2 cups GREEN BEANS, FROZEN or FRESH CUT
  • 1 1/2 tsp THYME, DRIED
  • 1 tsp ROSEMARY DRIED, CRUSHED, (or 1 tsp fresh, chopped)
  • 2 BAY LEAVES, DRIED
  • 1/2 tsp OREGANO, DRIED
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
  • 15 oz CANNELLINI BEANS, rinsed and drained (1 can)
  • 15 oz KIDNEY BEANS, DARK RED, rinsed and drained (2 cans)
  • 1/4 cup FRESH PARSLEY, chopped, (or 2 T. dried)
  • 1 RECIPE PERFECT MEATBALLS (recipe below)

Gluten-free option: make sure your * ingredients do not contain wheat or gluten.

  1. In a large soup pot, sauté 1 small onion, 4-5 cloves minced garlic, 1 1/2 c. celery, 1 1/2 c. carrot in 2 tsp olive oil, over medium heat for 6-7 minutes until softened. Stir 6 oz. tomato paste into vegetables, sautéing a minute or two to release the flavor. Add diced tomatoes with juice, 6 cups chicken broth, 1 ½ t. dried thyme, 1 t. dried rosemary, ½ t. dried oregano, 2 bay leaves, 2 c. frozen or fresh green beans and 1 recipe cooked perfect meatballs; bring to a boil then cover and simmer 20-30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (may refrigerate at this point and reheat or put in crock pot).
  2. Before serving remove bay leaves and add 15 oz kidney and 15 oz cannellini beans to soup. Heat for a few minutes and serve. Garnish with fresh shredded parmesan cheese and parsley if desired. Serving size: about 1 1/2 c. soup or 1/12th of recipe.

VARIATIONS: Add other vegetables like baby spinach, zucchini, peas or mushrooms. Toss in any short cut wheat or multigrain pasta with the beans. Meatballs are great alone in spaghetti sauce over hot cooked pasta too.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 300 calories, 11g fat, 3g sat fat, 85mg cholesterol, 24g carb, 6g fiber, 5g sugar, 25g protein

Print Recipe – PDF

PERFECT MEATBALLS

makes about 64 meatballs

  • 16 oz LEAN GROUND TURKEY, (93/7)*
  • 16 oz LEAN TURKEY SAUSAGE (or additional ground turkey)*
  • 2/3 cup PARMESAN CHEESE, SHREDDED, freshly shredded
  • 2/3 cup BREAD CRUMBS, ITALIAN*
  • 1 large EGG, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup NONFAT MILK
  • 3 cloves GARLIC, minced
  • 3/4 tsp SEA SALT
  • 1/2 tsp PEPPER
  • 2 tbsp FRESH PARSLEY, chopped (or 1 T. dried)
  • 1 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN

Gluten-free option: make sure your * ingredients do not contain wheat or gluten.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine 2/3 c. bread crumbs, 2/3 c. shredded parmesan, 1 beaten egg, 3 grated garlic cloves, 2 T. fresh chopped parsley, 1 T. olive oil, 3/4 t. sea salt and 1/2 t. pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add 16 oz each ground turkey and turkey sausage. Mix together with hands just until incorporated, adding more milk if needed to moisten (be careful not to over mix or meat will toughen).
  3. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll meat mixture into 1″ round balls and place on prepared baking pan (makes about 64 meatballs – may have to cook in batches). Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until meatballs start to brown and are just cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside, refrigerate or freeze if making ahead.

VARIATIONS: Omit cheese.

Advertisements