I really enjoy a hearty minestrone soup, but unfortunately my stomach doesn’t appreciate the beans and pasta. So I was mulilng over how to create something that would have the heartiness and substance of minestrone, but without the beans and pasta. I decided to chunk it up with extra vegetables, including the addition of portabello mushroom, and to add meatballs!
The result was hearty, tasty and satisfying. I used potato, but if you don’t want that extra starch then cauliflower would be a great substitution.
2 tablespoons oil (butter/ghee)
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
28 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2-3 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium potato, diced (or cauliflower for paleo)
1 cup (approx) chopped green beans
1 portabello mushroom, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
1 red or green pepper, sliced
Fresh baby spinach – couple handfuls
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon marjoram
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 lb ground beef or bison
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon dried sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
Pepper – couple shakes
1. Heat the oil to medium in a large soup pot.
2. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or so until the onion has softened.
3. Add the stock, fire roasted tomatoes, carrots, celery, potato, green beans and herbs. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, mix together all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl.
5. Standing beside the soup pot, use your hands to roll meatball mixture into balls approx. ½ inch diameter, and drop each one into the soup as you go (some will therefore be cooking longer than others but they won’t overcook).
6. Add the portabello mushroom, zucchini and pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes. With about 5 minutes to go, toss in the spinach. Vegetables should be tender, but not overcooked.
7. Serve each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan (optional but really good!)
Linking to: Sunday Night Soup Night, Monday Mania @ Healthy Home Economist, Real Food 101 @ Ruth’s Real Food, Homestead Barnhop @ The Prairie Homestead, Make Your Own Mondays, Fat Tuesday @ Real Food Forager, Real Food Wednesdays @ Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Healthy 2day Wednesdays @ day2dayjoys, Full Plate Thursdays @ Miz Helen’s, Pennywise Platter Thursdays @ Nourishing Gourmet