My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Italian Meatball Soup with Tortellini and Kale

"Good manners: The noise you don't make when you're eating soup." 
~ Bennett Cerf, Humorist (1898-1971)
Here is one of my favorite soups.  I could eat it for days and not tire of it.  The light broth is just a perfect vehicle for heavier elements, like meatballs and tortellini (YUM!).  There are plenty of hearty Italian soup recipes that have tomatoes in them,  but what makes this soup interesting, is that it doesn't.  Once you have the meatballs done it comes together very quickly and doesn't require a long simmer, making it a nice workday choice.  I made it the other night as a light dinner so we could have Banana Cream Pie as a side dish, I mean...erm...dessert.

Do what I do, and next time you find yourself making meatballs for a spaghetti dinner, increase the recipe a bit (make sure you start with fresh, not previously frozen meat) and then roll 3/4 pound worth of smaller meatballs.  Bake them on a cookie sheet for a 20-30 mins (depending on size), cool, place in a Ziploc bag and throw them in the freezer.  Then, when you feel like making this soup, it's cake!  

Italian Meatball Soup with Tortellini and Kale
A recipe by The Irish Mother

1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 slices white bread
1 small onion, peeled
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
12 ounces ground meat, either all beef, or a combination of beef, pork and veal.
garlic powder and onion powder (for dusting meatballs before baking)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small onions, peeled and diced
2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, preferably with leaves attached
1 clove garlic
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small zucchini
3 ounces chopped kale

1. For the meatballs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mince the cheese, bread and onion in a food processor.  Add the milk, salt, egg and the meat.  Mix just until combined.  Roll into small meatballs.  Should make about 20.  Place meatballs on a cookie sheet and dust all over with garlic powder and onion powder.  Bake for 20 minutes.

2. For the soup:  Heat the olive oil to med-high in a large heavy stockpot.  Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring so they don't burn.  Add garlic and stir for one minute, until fragrant.  Immediately add chicken stock, seasonings, zucchini and kale.  Taste broth and add salt and pepper, if needed.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Add meatballs and tortellini and simmer 15 minutes or until heated through.
This soup can be made up to 3 days in advance and reheated.  Add more chicken stock or water if needed.


Tina said...

Ha, I love the quote here! This does look like one hearty italian soup! This one has all the goodies that I like a little bit of beef, pasta and veggies-yum! This really does put the canned italian soups to shame-enticing photo! Have a great day.

Arbine said...

This looks so comforting! Definitely want to try this very soon. Have a lovely day!

Bonnie Russ said...

That looks so good. It's perfect as you mentioned to freeze extra meatballs. Love the combination and LOVE the soup bowl too :)

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Tina: Thanks Tina...and it really is very easy to throw together. You can hardly go wrong!

@Arbine: Thanks a bunch..let me know how you like it, and you enjoy the rest of your day too!

@Bonnie: You're sweet! It really is good and EASY! p.s. I adore transferware too!

CulinaryCache said...

This soup looks so hearty and comforting! I would love to come home to a big pot of this!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Culinary: Thank you, and Great! C'mon over ;-) there's always plenty!

kale @ tastes good to me! said...

Soup and bowl are both beautiful! :)

Kristen said...

I just love filled pasta in a soup. Adding the meatballs sounds like just the ticket. What a great soup!!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Kale: & @Kristen: Thank you girls!!! Wish you could beam yourselves on over and have a nice bowl for lunch with me!

Mary said...

I, too, love pie as a side dish:-). Your soup sounds wonderfully delicious and I can't think of a better winter meal. I'll be trying this really soon. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Raquelle said...

I'm trying this dish tonight but you don't say when to put in the tortellini

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Raquelle: Thanks for letting me know. You add them with the meatballs. I just fixed the recipe! Hope you like it!

Kathy said...

What a wonderful soup! Hearty enough for those cold days of winter. Looks delicious!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Kathy: Thank you!