meatball soup

Meatball Soup

Meatballs and spaghetti are in regular rotation at our house, but this recipe changes things up a bit.

Make the meatballs (you can use this recipe or your own favorite), then simmer them in the bell-pepper-rich soup. Served over rice, this dish is a nice curve ball to our usual menu.

By the way, peppers are one of those vegetables you can stock up on.

Fresh peppers keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. Simply pat them dry and store unwrapped in the crisper drawer. Do not seal them in plastic as that promotes molding.

Meatball Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Meatballs:

1 pound lean ground beef

½ pound uncooked mild Italian sausage, removed from casing

1 large egg

¼ cup dry breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Soup:

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, chopped

½ large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, chopped

1 carrot, peeled, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 quart (32 ounces) chicken broth

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon salt

1 to 1½ cups cooked rice

1 can (14 ounces) white beans, drained

Chopped fresh basil, parsley and chives

1. For meatballs, put meats, egg, crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Gently mix everything together with your hands. Shape into small meatballs, each about 1 to 1½ inches in diameter.

2. Heat a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Working in batches, add meatballs in a single uncrowded layer. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove with tongs to a plate. Repeat to cook all the meatballs.

3. For soup, without washing the pan, add onion to meatball drippings in the pot. Cook and stir to scrape up browned bits, about 3 minutes. Stir in bell peppers and carrot; cook and stir, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 2 minutes.

4. Stir in broth, tomatoes, seasoning and salt. Simmer, partly covered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

5. Stir meatballs, rice and beans into the soup. Simmer until everything is heated through, about 10 minutes. Taste for salt. Serve garnished generously with fresh herbs.