Italian Meatball Soup

Italian Meatball Soup (2)I could eat soup everyday — as long as it’s homemade.  Can’t stand the canned stuff, overcooked vegetables, a faint taste of metal…that is nothing to look forward to.  So I make soup often, at least twice a week during the winter and on some lazy Sundays I will cook up two or three different kinds to freeze and enjoy throughout the week.

This recipe I came up with when my greens started flourishing and it has quickly become a family favorite.  Today I picked a batch of fresh beet greens and swiss chard, but I’ve used spinach, kale, mustard greens or a combo, all were good.  If you are a little short on greens you could add zucchini and maybe some frozen spinach, that is one of the wonders of soup, its one of the easiest dishes to prepare and you can adjust the flavors along the way, too much broth, add some noodles, cooking rue, rice or potato, not enough broth, add more stock or a stock cube and water.  (Keep stock cubes handy in your pantry, they are generally cheaper than a can or carton of stock and they don’t take up much space).  Of course, the best stock is one you can make yourself, but that’s another recipe.Greens From The Garden

Italian Meatball Soup – Makes Approximately 6-8 servings

  • 1 Large Onion (mince 1/3 of it for the meatballs (about ½ cup), dice the rest for the soup, you should have about 1 cup).
  • 2 Stalks of Celery Diced
  • 4 Large Carrots
  • Greens – chopped!  (Either spinach, kale, swiss chard or a mixture of all) approximately 1 lb bag or two large bundles.  Use 1 lb frozen greens if fresh are not available.
  • Zucchini 1-2 (optional – if you are low on greens)
  • 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 2- 32 ounce cans chicken stock or broth (or) use the chicken stock cubes by Knorr.  I like to start with 32 oz of stock and then use another 32 ounce carton of stock or 1 or 2 chicken flavor cubes with water as a combination.  NOTE:  I typically use STOCK from Costco – it has a much richer flavor than broth, so be prepared to use more flavor cubes if you are not using stock.
  • 1 – 1 /2 Cup Macaroni, small shells, spirals, or egg noodles.  Add more or less or how thick you want your soup.
  • Olive oil

Meatballs

  • 1 ¼ lb Ground Turkey 93/7 (that’s the size of the Jenny O package)
  • The onion from above; approximately ½ cup minced
  • ½ Cup Italian Bread Crumbs (or use your own and use more Italian seasoning in your mix)
  • 1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tsp Poultry Seasoning
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp Pepper
  • ½ Tsp Granulated garlic (or) use a couple of fresh cloves minced
  • 1 Egg

For the meatballs:  Combine the Turkey, ½ cup minced onion, Italian seasoning, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, bread crumbs and egg.  Mix well to combine.  Roll the balls, a level tablespoon each is a good size.   Set aside

In a large pot, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the rest of the onion, celery, and a couple minced cloves of garlic for a couple minutes.  Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil.  Gently put in the meatballs, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Taste the broth, grind a good amount of pepper and salt (if necessary) typically you won’t need any more salt unless your broth is low-sodium.  Add the pasta, carrots and greens, add 32 ounces more stock (or chicken flavor cubes and water to equal 32 ounces).   Bring back to a boil, cover and simmer until the noodles and carrots are tender (usually about 8-10 minutes).  Turn off heat, taste the broth again and adjust your seasonings as desired.   Makes approximately 12-14 cups.

Starting the Soup
Meatballs Ready To Mix

Rolling Meatballs

Meatballs and Stock Choices

Meatballs Done

Italian Meatball Soup

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