Every now and then I get these urges to try something new and experiment in the kitchen. I have never been a big fan of soup. I’m a chicken noodle when sick type of girl, but today, I decided to step outside of the box and try this.
When I told my husband I was going to try my hand at a minestrone soup he became kinda silent and then pointed out that it wasn’t really soup weather. He had a point as it was 60 degrees and kinda sunny, however, I have a thick head and wanted to try it. He brought up adding little meatballs to it, like an Italian wedding soup and I thought why not!
I found the recipe on Pineterst. It is a Jamie Oliver recipe that you can find here and it looked very simple and easy. I of course tweaked it to fit what I had on hand and to add the tiny meatballs that my husband requested.
Minestrone/Italian Wedding Soup Hybrid
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic – peeled and chopped
1 red onion – peeled and chopped
2 carrots – peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery – chopped
1 zucchini – washed and chopped
1 bunch of scallions – washed and chopped
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 – 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
1 large potato – scrubbed and diced
1 – 15.5 ounce can garbanzo beans – drained and rinsed
4 cups (1 qt container) low-sodium vegetable broth
1 large handful curly kale – stalks removed and leaves chopped
½ cup mixed small pasta shapes
a few basil leaves – torn (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)
Ingredients for the mini meatballs:
1/2 lb ground sirloin
panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Sorry I don’t have exact measurements for these. I just eyeballed everything like I would normally prepare my meatballs, gently mixed it all together and rolled tiny meatballs out of the mixture.
Heat a large pot over a medium heat and add olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, scallion, oregano and bay leaf. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables have softened.
Add the tomatoes, potato, garbanzo beans, vegetable broth and mini meatballs. Cover and bring everything to a boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Check (with the tip of a knife) that the potato is soft and cooked through.
Once potato is soft, add the kale and pasta. Cook for 10 more minutes or until the pasta is cooked through. If the soup is too thick for your taste after cooking the pasta, thin it with a little more broth or water.
The basil is optional but I think it added a nice taste to the broth. Finish by seasoning with a little salt and black pepper and if you desire, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
The result of this culinary experiment was yummy, healthy, light yet filling. I will definitely be making this recipe again and I would like to continue trying different soups.