Savory Ground Beef Meatball SoupPrint Recipe
- Olive oil
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 (28 ounces) can tomato purée
- 7 ¼ cups water
- 1 (15 ounces) can cannellini beans
- 2.5 ounces baby spinach
- About 20 leaves fresh basil, sliced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Salt and pepper
1. In a large, deep pot or Dutch oven, preheat olive oil (about three turns of the pan) over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, carrot and celery until translucent – about 3 minutes. Season with salt and crushed red pepper. Whack each clove of garlic with a knife – once to remove the peel, and then again to open the clove slightly. Add to the pot and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
2. Deglaze the pan with red wine. Lower heat to medium and reduce by half. Add the stock and reduce it by half again.
3. Meanwhile, combine the meatball ingredients (ground beef, eggs, 1/4 cup olive oil, granulated garlic, chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, salt and pepper) in a large bowl. Set aside.
4. When the liquid has reduced, stir in the tomatoes and water. Season with salt to taste and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low.
5. Use your hands to combine the meatball mixture. It should be fairly wet and sticky; that makes for juicier meatballs. Roll into 3/4 inch balls and drop them one at a time directly into the soup. (You could bake the meatballs off in the oven – about 20-25 minutes at 350° F.)
6. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
7. Rinse and drain the beans. Add to the soup and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
8. At this point, skim the soup and remove the garlic if you like.
9. Just prior to serving, stir in spinach and basil. Simmer for about 5 minutes to wilt the greens. To serve, spoon into individual bowls and garnish with grated cheese and additional fresh basil. Enjoy!