Food Friday: Italian Meatball Soup

This is one of those tried and true recipes that I find myself returning to again and again. It’s flavorful, a little different than the usual, and an excellent way to stretch pennies. One pound of ground beef makes six very generous servings without even seeming to try! The Parmesan cheese is a tad pricey, but it keeps in the fridge for ages, and one little wedge makes this meal several times in our house, so in the end it’s quite cost effective in addition to being delicious!

The Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup freshly-ground Parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried parsley
1 egg
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
juice from 1 small lemon

2 TBSP olive oil
7 cups beef stock (preferably homemade)
2 cups water
2 TBSP tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt (more to taste)
1 tsp pepper (more to taste)
3/4 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup carrots, chopped
3/4 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup potato, cubed (do not peel)
3/4 cup cabbage, chopped
grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

The Drill:

  1. Assemble all the meatball ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix well. (Go ahead and get your hands dirty! They work better for mixing than a spoon, and you’ll be using ’em to shape meatballs anyway!) Shape into 3/4-inch balls, cover with plastic wrap, and let them chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  2. When meatballs are ready, heat oil over medium-low heat. Brown meatballs briefly in batches, setting them aside on a plate. To the pot drippings, add stock, water, tomato sauce, salt, bay leaves, and dried parsley. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves.
  3. Add onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 more minutes.
  4. Add cabbage and meatballs, bring to a boil, then simmer for 8-10 more minutes.
  5. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Yum!

You may have noticed that most of the pictures I posted are cheese-free. I didn’t add the cheese until the very end of the photo shoot because I didn’t want to cover up all the other delicious goodies on display! The soup is tasty without Parmesan if you have to go that way, but I totally recommend loading your bowl with it if you have the chance. Too much good cheese? No such thing! 😉

This base for this recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman. Click here to see her blog post! She has photos for every step of the process, but if you keep scrolling to the bottom, the full recipe is there. I made some modifications based around the ingredients I usually have on hand.

Why not give this soup a go tonight? 🙂

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? I’d love to know what you think! Happy munching!


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