My friend texted me from Cleveland yesterday that it had been raining so much she was thinking about building an ark. This recipe is perfect for one of those rainy, ark-building days. It is very easy to make and children and adults will love it.
Making the Mini Meatballs …
I had a pound of beef in the freezer that I got from C-Saw Hill Farm – grass fed, no hormones, no antibiotics – bright red color with very little fat – it was perfect for making little meatballs for this soup.
I crushed up some corn tortilla chips and sprinkled the beef with oregano and salt and pepper. I poured about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and let it heat up a bit. While it was heating, I quickly rolled about 2 to 3 dozen mini meatballs – about the size of marbles. I dropped them into the pan as soon as the oil was hot enough and then cooked them on medium high for about 5 to 10 minutes. (I was tossing in the meatballs as I rolled them so some were in there for about 5 minutes and others were in there for about 10.) After they finished cooking, I put the meatballs on a paper towel on a plate to absorb any excess oil – due to the meat I used, there really wasn’t any excess grease but if you use less lean meat you might want to do this before adding the meatballs to the soup.
Making the Soup …
|Spinach in our garden|
1 bunch of fresh spinach or 1 package frozen spinach
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 carton (about 4 cups) chicken stock
1/2 to 3/4 cup mini pasta (I used gluten free corn pasta from DeBoles)
2 carrots, sliced into thin disks
1 can (14 oz.) cannellini beans
1/2 pound to 1 pound Mini Meatballs
Since I used frozen spinach this time, I let the frozen spinach thaw on the counter for a bit before I made the soup. I put the semi-frozen spinach in the bottom of my large heavy bottomed soup pan and broke up the spinach with my spoon. I added the can of diced tomatoes, 1 carton of chicken stock, and the carrots. I got the carrots locally and the skin on the carrots is so thin that I don’t even need to peel them – save yourself the effort and just thinly slice them after you scrub off the dirt.
|The final product|
Break up the spinach and stir to combine all the ingredients. Bring the soup to a boil and add in the pasta. Cook on high for about 10 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Add in the cannellini beans (white kidney beans) and the meatballs. Reduce heat and cook for another five minutes or so. If you like your soup to be more “soupy” you can add additional water. I prefer thicker soup so I used 3/4 of a cup of pasta and added no additional liquid.
To be honest, I made this soup at about 3pm in the afternoon, covered it and set it aside so I could take the kids to tennis. I just let it sit for the hour we were gone and then served it just slightly warm when we got home at 5. It was delicious. You can sprinkle some grated parmesan over the top or serve this with crusty bread. Enjoy!