Thursday, October 6, 2011

Brooke's Soccer Night Minestrone & Turkey Meatball Soup

I used this recipe from as the basis for my recipe, but made changes due to our budget this week & a busy soccer practice night.  I threw this together between our big girl's afternoon carpool & when we had to leave for the little bit's soccer practice.  When we arrived home, the house smelled delish!  I think this is going to be a family hit!  It received rave reviews from the kiddos, which means it's definitely a success!

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
Added to the Soup before running out the door for soccer practice:
  • 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
In the beginning....
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. 

Meatball Directions:
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!


  1. since I'm under the weather...Wednesday night we had McDoubles from McDonald's $1 menu. Tonight, Thursday, I quickly made Lipton's Soup Starters Extra noodle soup & saltine crackers. Wish I could have had Brooke's yummy soup though!

  2. Glad you had some soup & crackers! That can go a long way in helping you feel better! Wish I could email some soup to you! :-)