Italian Meatball Soup

2016-04-16 17.34.06RECIPE #229, DAY #295

THREE STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Meatball and Macaroni Soup” from Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals 2*

TIMING: 30 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Pretty darn easy

TOOLS: Nothing special

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: You could do better. You could do a lot worse. Much of the heft is from pasta, and you can find some pretty terrible broths, but if you buy great ingredients, you’re going to be nourished. Vegetables, check. Greens, check. Protein, check.

EXPERIENCE: This sounded really decent, especially since it was paired with frozen, chocolate-covered bananas. I was imagining a tomato-y, liquid spaghetti-with-meatballs to go with the grilled cheese. It was nothing of the sort. More like a spinach-y, clear broth with strong-tasting meatballs.

Incidentally, I split all three recipes up over the course of one day, to create a lunch, snack, and dinner.

This wasn’t my cup of tea. It was extremely mediocre, which made it a waste of both pasta and meat. Also, the meat tasted of fillers. (You know, like a good meat loaf is full of stretching fillers but doesn’t exactly taste like it. These meatballs tasted bready.)

NOTES: I reduced the breadcrumbs by half, hoping the results would be better. I’m also wondering if using all beef might help. I also omitted the nutmeg from the meatballs.

***

  1. In a soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 2 cloves sliced garlic, 2 diced carrots, 2 diced ribs celery, 1 diced onion, 2 bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Cover and cook about 6 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine 1/3 pound ground beef, 1/3 pound ground pork, 1/3 pound ground veal, 1 egg, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Roll into small balls and set aside.
  3. To the veggies, add 6 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Gently add meatballs, stir, then add 2 cups macaroni or other fun pasta shape ideal for soup. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Add 1 pound spinach, stir, and remove form heat. Taste for seasonings and serve.

***

Serve as an introduction to an Italian-inspired meal. Or just serve with some crusty bread and a bottle of wine.

*Recipe has been changed from the original.

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