Brooke's Soccer Night Minestrone & Turkey Meatball Soup
1st part of the soup:
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 C carrots, diced
- 2 celery hearts, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (I like a lot of garlic!)
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes (28oz)
- 1 can Great Northern Beans, drained & lightly rinsed (15 oz)
- 4 C natural chicken broth
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/4 C chopped Italian parsley
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1.2 lbs ground turkey (we like the 85/15)
- ~1/4 C chopped Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (could grate or shred, but I was in a rush, so I just chopped it up!)
- Garlic powder, to taste
- Onion powder, to taste
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 large zucchini, chopped
- 2 C chopped baby spinach (I'm sure regular spinach leaves would work just fine)
- 1 C uncooked small pasta shells
- 3 C water
I'm not sure about all crock pots, but mine has a removable pot that can be used on the stove. So, while I chopped the veggies & herbs (and the girls played), I heated the chicken broth, tomatoes & beans in the pot on the stove over medium low heat. As I chopped the veggies & herbs, I added them to the pot & stirred. After adding all ingredients, through the salt & pepper, I made the meatballs.
I combined all of the meatball ingredients & rolled them into small meatballs, dropping them into the simmering soup one at a time, giving them space, so they'd hold their shape.
As the little bit' was putting on her shin guards & we were ready to run out the door:
I turned the crock pot on low while I prepped the last ingredients, so it would keep everything nice & hot, and hold the cooking temperature, once I was ready to move the pot from the stove to the crock pot. I added the zucchini, chopped spinach, pasta shells & extra water, stirred it all together and brought the soup to a slow boil/high simmer on the stove. I moved the pot into the crock pot base (with oven mits!!), covered it & let it simmer on the low setting for the ~ 1 hr 1/2 we were at soccer practice.
When we returned home, we were greeted with a yummy-smelling house & very, very happy & healthy bowls of soup! This would be great with toasty sourdough bread, maybe with some of the Parmigiano Reggiano melted on top! Yum!
**Remember to remove the bay leaves & cheese rind before serving!**
Note: If you have time beforehand (I didn't), cook the pasta separately in salted water & serve it directly into the bowls & ladle the soup on top. If the pasta sits too long in the soup, it gets mushy. If you use this method, you'll need to omit the 3 C water, and can reduce the chicken broth to 3 C, or go ahead and leave the broth as 4 C for the flavor. Either way it's a delicious soup!
I would love to hear your feedback on this recipe & any changes you might make based on your budget & family preferences. Happy & healthy eating!