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MEATBALL SOUP

Hearty Meatball Soup: A Comforting Culinary Journey

Crafting Warmth and Flavor in Every Spoonful

Prepare to embark on a culinary journey that combines the heartiness of meatballs with the comforting warmth of a flavorful broth. This meatball soup recipe promises not only to fill your belly but also to warm your soul. Whether it’s a chilly evening or you’re simply craving a bowl of comfort, this soup is your passport to a world of rich, savory goodness.

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs:

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef or a mixture of beef and pork
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for frying

For the Soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup small pasta (such as ditalini or small shells)
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions:

Crafting a Bowl of Comfort with Love

For the Meatballs:

  1. Mix Meatball Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 pound of ground beef (or a mixture of beef and pork), 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion, 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley, 1 egg, 2 minced cloves of garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  2. Shape Meatballs: Shape the mixture into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
  3. Fry Meatballs: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides. They don’t need to be fully cooked at this stage; just get a nice sear on them. Transfer the meatballs to a plate and set aside.

For the Soup:

  1. Sauté Aromatics: In a large soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion, diced carrots, diced celery, and minced garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
  2. Add Broth and Tomatoes: Pour in 6 cups of beef or vegetable broth and add 1 can (14 ounces) of diced tomatoes. Stir in 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, salt, and pepper to taste.
  3. Simmer Soup: Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Cook Pasta: While the soup simmers, cook 1 cup of small pasta in a separate pot according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  5. Add Meatballs and Pasta: Once the vegetables are tender, return the meatballs to the pot and add the cooked pasta. Let the soup simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.
  6. Serve and Garnish: Ladle the hearty meatball soup into bowls. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese.

Tips and Variations:

Enhancing Your Meatball Soup Experience

Tips:

  • Don’t overmix the meatball mixture; it can make the meatballs tough.
  • If you prefer a thicker broth, you can add a small amount of cornstarch mixed with water to the soup.

Variations:

  • Experiment with different types of ground meat, such as turkey or chicken, for a lighter version.
  • Add a handful of fresh spinach or kale leaves to the soup for added nutrition and color.

Make It Ahead:

  • This soup can be prepared ahead of time and reheated. In fact, it often tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld together.

Freezing:

  • You can freeze this soup for future comfort cravings. Just be sure to let it cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container.

Pairing Suggestion:

  • Serve your meatball soup with a side of warm crusty bread or garlic bread for a truly satisfying meal.

Cook’s Note:

  • The joy of a warm, hearty meatball soup extends beyond its taste. It’s a reminder that simple, lovingly crafted dishes can bring immense comfort and joy to the table. So, whether you’re seeking solace on a rainy day or sharing a bowl with loved ones, savor each spoonful and embrace the comfort it brings to your day. Enjoy!

Cook’s Note Continued:

  • Meatball soup is a versatile dish that you can tailor to your taste. Feel free to add other favorite vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or green beans for an extra layer of flavor and nutrition.
  • If you want to make this soup even heartier, consider adding cooked white beans or lentils for added protein and texture.
  • To add a kick of heat, sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes into the broth while it simmers.
  • For a dairy twist, you can melt a little mozzarella or Parmesan cheese on top of each bowl just before serving.
  • Don’t forget to customize the soup to your preferred level of saltiness. Taste as you go and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
  • Finally, share this comforting meatball soup with friends and family. It’s a dish that not only fills the stomach but also nourishes the soul, and there’s nothing better than sharing that warmth and love with loved ones around the table.

So, ladle up a bowl of this hearty meatball soup, savor the aroma, and take a moment to appreciate the simple joys of comfort food. With each spoonful, you’re not just tasting flavors; you’re savoring memories and embracing the comforting embrace of home-cooked goodness. Enjoy your culinary journey!

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