Thursday, April 3, 2008


This recipe has been in my notebook, forgotten and untried, for at least a few years. Last weekend I had an opportunity to sort through the notebook and it was rediscovered. I made it Saturday for supper and was glad I kept it. It made enough for supper for four of us, and Greg and I each got a bowl for lunch on Monday.
It came from either Taste of Home or Country Woman magazine.

First I'll copy the recipe as it was printed, then in my notes at the bottom I'll give you the changes I made so I could use what I already had on hand. The only thing I purchased to make this recipe was the ground beef - only because I didn't have any thawed.

Meatball Minestrone

1 pound ground beef

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 15oz. can tomato sauce

2 1/2 cups water

1 15-1/2 oz. can kidney beans with liquid

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a mixing bowl, combine beef, egg, onion, crumbs, salt, and pepper. Shape into 30 1" balls. In a large saucepan, brown meatballs on all sides. Drain excess fat.

Add remaining ingredients except macaroni and parsley; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add macaroni; simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in parsley.

Yield: about 2 quarts Can be frozen.

My changes: I baked the meatballs for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven instead of browning in a pan. While they baked, I prepped the rest of the soup ingredients.

I only had a 20-something ounce can of crushed tomatoes, so I used that, and cut the amount of water back to 2 cups. Made for a richer soup.

I doubled the amount of oregano and thyme, and even that wasn't enough. Next time I'll quadruple it, or more.

I used black beans instead of kidney. Didn't have any kidney beans, and I don't like them anyway. And Angela said black beans are better for you, anyway. :o)

Skipped the parsley and we topped the soup with shredded Parmesan.

Greg and I discussed some options in addition to, or instead of the meatballs. He thought some Italian sausage would be good, and I was thinking some chunks of Kielbasa would add some depth of flavor.

We just had a hard roll with this, but it would be really good with garlic bread. Mmmm...

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