Minestrone is a thick Italian vegetable soup containing dried beans and pasta. For me, it is often the soup I make when I have a number of vegetables I want to use before they spoil. This is the soup you make when it is cold outside and it is filling enough to have for dinner. Just be sure to have some good bread to serve with this hearty Minestrone with meatballs.

Hearty Minestrone with Meatballs

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

A hearty Italian soup perfect for lunch or dinner.

Recipe shared by:  Jovina Coughlin of Jovina Cooks

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 cups canned fava beans, drained (or 1 cup dried — instructions below)
  • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat orzo
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, washed, and leaves chopped into small pieces
  • 1 (28 oz) can of cherry tomatoes (Cento)
  • Parmesan cheese rind
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and olive oil

Meatball Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and oil the foil.
  3. Combine the ingredients for the meatballs in a medium bowl.
  4. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch of the meatball mixture onto the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned.
  6. Set aside.

Soup Directions:

  1. Add onion, potato, thyme, cheese rind, salt, and pepper.
  2. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add orzo, tomatoes, carrot, celery, canned beans (or cooked dry beans,if using), and zucchini.
  4. Continue to cook, partially covered, until the vegetables and pasta are tender, about 10 minutes more.
  5. Stir in kale and meatballs. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan and olive oil.

Dry Beans Directions:

  1. Cover the beans with cold water and soak overnight.
  2. Heat the broth and water in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  3. Simmer the beans until tender. This can take up to 45 minutes depending on the size of the beans. Test them every 10 minutes or so for doneness; when finished cooking they should be tender but not mushy.
  4. Do not drain.

Find more great recipes shared by Jovina — HERE


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