Minestrone soup with meatballs, cannellini beans, wholemeal pasta,carrots, plum tomatoes and spinach, a hearty soup to warm you up on those chilli days. This is what l call comfort food with minimum effort and basic ingredients.
I think it’s safe to say that Autumn is here, and with it, cooler and shorter days. Not a pretty sight this morning: rainy, windy, dark, gloomy. It has suddenly hit me that this is how most days are going to be from now on. Brrrr!!! Never mind, there is always comfort food to cheer us up, right? And talking about comfort food, don’t you just love a bowl of hot minstrone soup with meantballs on such a cold weather? I definitely do.
This classic Italian soup is hearty, full of goodness and so soothing. And a great way of clearing up the fridge, anything goes in, so not to worry if you don’t have a certain ingredient, it will still be delicious, that’s for sure. A very colourful soup, isn’t it? It’s exactly like the colours of Autumn.
Meatballs are sheer goodness, in any dish, any season, and any occasion. Maybe spaghetti meatballs are the most popular dish around the word, but that does not mean that in other recipes they don’t work as well. The soup is filling enough not to need much food after. Just dessert probably, I mean, there’s always a bit of room left for dessert!!!
I would not worry much about the type of pasta that goes into this minestrone soup, any shapes are fine, although probably the small ones look nicer, as opposed to spaghetti, for example. I don’t like leaving soups in the fridge for too long, they don’t taste as nice when they are re-heated, so ideally make just enough for one meal to keep the flavours.
I am not sure whether freezing and they re-heated changes the taste slightly like refrigerating does, I must stay I rarely freeze food, nowadays most of the food I freeze is small batches of bolognese, so have as a back-up plan in case I don’t have enough time to cook something else for little ones. But this soup is definitely one of my favourite, and it’s worth giving it a go.
Hearty meatball minestone soup, a family favourite that is so full of flavours and healthy.
- 250 g minced beef (1/2 lb)
- 1/4 onion (finely chopped)
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp Italian herbs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (125 g)
- 500 ml vegetable stock (2 cups)
- 1 can plum tomatoes (400 g)
- 1 can cannellini beans (400 g)
- 1 large red onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 large potato
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2 cup wholemeal pasta
- 1 carrot
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped parsley
To make the meatballs, mix the minced beef with the egg, milk, quarter onion, breadcrumbs, Italian herbs, salt and pepper and shape into small(ish) balls. Depending on the size, you should get about 10-15 meatballs.
Heat up the oil in a frying pan and add the meatballs, in batches if needed. Fry on both sides until cooked through, it should take 6-7 minutes on a medium heat.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
In a large pan, heat up the oil and add the red onion chopped finely and fry until transluscent.
Add the carrots and garlic (also chopped finely) and stir for 1-2 minutes.
The plum tomatoes can be added too, you can chop them up a bit if you don't want big chunks.
Stir for a further 2 minutes, then add the vegetable stock, chopped potato, beans, pasta and bay leaves.
Leave to cook on a medium heat until all vegetable are soft and the pasta is cooked through.
Add the meatballs, spinach and herbs, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Leave to cook for 2 more minutes, then turn off the heat.
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.