Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Minestrone with Parmesan and Chive Meatballs


It's Spring! Well, almost. While it is sunnier and the days are longer, it's just not warm enough to give up soup yet. So we took some inspiration from a recipe from Bon Appetit and tweaked it a little to fit what we had in our pantry, and increased some measurements to get about 6 servings. The leftovers are AWESOME!!!

Ingredients:

12 oz. Grass Fed Beef
1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs, maybe a little more
6 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan (3 for meatballs, 3 for garnish)
1 Egg, beaten
Olive Oil, for sautéing
2 Qt. Veggie Stock, we used home made
3 Carrots, cut into 1/4" slices
1 Bunch Lacinato Kale- You know, the dinosaur kind. Chopped pretty finely. No giant pieces.
2 Large Shallots, finely diced
4 Cloves Garlic, finely diced
1 Cup Ditalini Pasta, cooked al dente (measurement is precooked)
6-8 Leaves of Basil, chiffonade for garnish
6 Chives, finely chopped (half for garnish, half for meatballs)
salt and pepper to taste

Let's-a make-a meatballs! Combine beef (you could totally substitute chicken or turkey), egg, breadcrumbs, 3 Tbsp. of Parmesan, half of the chives, and some salt and pepper and mix well. You can add more breadcrumbs if you need to get them to form. In a non-stick pot (we used a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat saute the meatballs until browned on all sides. Don't have a non-stick pot? You might need a little oil then. Don't worry about cooking them through, that will be the soups job. Go ahead and take them out and set them aside, but don't get rid of that pot yet!

While you are cooking the meatballs, its a great idea to cook and drain the pasta. You can also set that aside as well.

Now in that meatball pot, add in about 2-3 Tbsp. of olive oil and toss in the garlic, shallots, and carrots. Saute' these until the shallots and garlic start to turn translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add in the veggie stock, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the carrots begin to get cooked through. At this point, you can toss in the meatballs, pasta, and kale. Cover again and simmer for another 10 minutes and then season to taste.

Grab some bowls, garnish with basil, chives, and Parmesan and get your slurp on! We served this with some pesto toast, but you could use crackers, other crusty bread, or whatever your heart desires. Enjoy!

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