Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Meatball Soup

Can you tell I'm trying to make space in my freezer?

I've been in a total Italian mood this week. Pasta, tomatoes, rich flavors. Can't get enough of it. I've been looking online for recipes to use for this particular dish for a couple weeks and nothing looked even remotely appealing. So I remedied the situation. Enjoy the fruits of my labor.

4-6 C beef broth
1 c spaghetti sauce
1-14oz envelope vegetable Soup/Dip Mix (I used Knorr, but store brand is fine, too)
1 can Italian-style diced tomatoes (I use petite cut)
10-12 meatballs (your own or store-bought, your choice - frozen is fine)
1 c fresh kale, stems removed (too bitter) and chopped finely
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 bag frozen cheese tortellini (most any type of pasta will do, as will diced potatoes)
Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese (optional)

Mix the beef broth, spaghetti sauce and soup mix together. Add the meatballs, tomatoes, kale and spices. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering 10-15 minutes.

In a separate pot, cook the tortellini according to package instructions. When read to serve, ladle the soup into bowls and add the tortellini. (I tried putting the tortellini directly in with the soup and they absorbed too much water, making them mushy. I would rather starve than eat mushy pasta, but if you like that sort of thing, knock yourself out.) If you choose to use potatoes instead of pasta, make sure to add those in with the soup, increasing your simmering time 5-10 minutes to allow the potatoes to cook thoroughly.

You can sprinkle Parmesan cheese on it when serving or serve it French Onion style by putting it in mugs, adding Mozzarella cheese over the top and baking it until it melts. I wasn't that patient.

Also, this recipe doesn't call for a lot of kale but you have to buy it in larger bunches so you'll probably have plenty left over. I clean mine, cut it up into more manageable sized pieces and freeze it. You can pull it out, run it under hot water and add to soups, stews and sauces for added color and taste. Frozen spinach would work too.

This soup is freaking AHHH-mazing, if I do say so myself. It's got excellent flavor without a lot of effort.

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