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Pesto Meatball Soup

December 22, 2011

This is one of the soups I derived from the base of the Ribollitarecipe I posted a week ago.  This one

pesto meatball soup

adds some flavorful pesto meatballs, no beans, more veggies and pesto stirred into the soup at the end.  It’s one I kind of made up as I went along and I really love it.  It’s very hearty and infinitely customizable.  This recipes serves 8.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

2 T olive oil

2 carrots cut in thirds

2 celery stalks, roughly chopped

1 c parsley

4 garlic cloves

2 t salt

1 t black pepper

1 t dried Italian seasoning

1 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 large zucchini, cut into a medium dice
5 c chicken broth

Parmesan rind

For the meatballs:
1 lb. ground chicken
2 T pesto
2 T dry breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 c grated Parmesan

For serving:

1 c small, dry pasta such as ditalini

Additional pesto and Parmesan for serving

additional salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place the carrot, celery, garlic, parsley and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is a little finer than a dice.  Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and add the vegetables to the pot.  Saute until beginning to soften and brown, about 6-8 minutes.

Add the salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning to the pot.  Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hand as you add them to the pot.  Add the broth, Parmesan rind, and zucchini and bring the mixture up to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the ground chicken, pesto, dry breadcrumbs, chopped garlic, parsley and Parmesan and some salt to taste.  Toss lightly with a fork to combine.  Form into small meatballs (about the size of a large gumball).  Heat a pan with 1 T olive oil and brown the meatballs, about 2-3 minutes on each side.

After the soup has cooked, add the meatballs to the soup and continue to cook for 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions.  (I cook the pasta separately and add it to each bowl I serve to prevent the pasta from getting too soggy.)

Ladle soup into bowls and and stir in pasta, 1 teaspoon pesto and sprinkle with Parmesan before serving.

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