This super comforting soup is loaded with plump Italian meatballs and hearty vegetables. Made in only 30 minutes but thanks to my little secret it tastes like it has been cooking all day!
For the Meatballs
- 1.5 pounds ground beef
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- ¼ cup milk (2%, whole, skim, all is fine)
- 3 tablespoons freshly parsley (finely chopped)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Soup
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 1 large carrot (diced)
- 2 small stalks of celery (diced)
- 4 cloves of garlic (minced on a microplane)
- 1 can of diced tomatoes with basil
- 2 handfulls roughly chopped spinach
- 8 cups of home made or store bought chicken stock
- 1 rind from Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup orzo or any other small pasta
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- juice of half a lemon
- Parmesan cheese as much as desired
- red pepper flakes
- Turn on your oven and heat up to 450-degrees.
- Pour the olive oil into a large pot (6 quart will do).
- Heat up your pot to medium heat.
- Add the onions, carrots and celery to your pot with the olive oil and cover with a lid, you want them to sweat. You do not want any color on them. About 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile combine ground beef, Parmesan cheese, parsley, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl. Combine mixture with your hands until just mixed, do not over mix or you will end up having dense meatballs.
- Prepare a sheet pan by spraying it with pan spray and THEN putting parchment on top. Create a huge “X” on the sheet from one corner to the next. This is a great trick to get your paper to stick onto the sheet pan.
- Use a tablespoon, melon baller, or small ice cream scoop to shape the meatballs. Do not make them too smooth, the rigid edges will allow for better browning in the oven.
- Place meatballs into the oven and let cook for 10 minutes.
- Back to the soup. Open the lid and add in the garlic, tomatoes, chicken broth and Parmesan rind. Allow to simmer.
- Once the meatballs are done add them into the soup and let cook for another 15-20 minutes on a nice simmer.
- Add in orzo and stir to combine. Let simmer until orzo is al dente.
- In the meantime, cut up the spinach roughly and rinse it.
- Find that melty Parmesan rind and remove it.
- Adjust for seasoning and finish it off with a squirt or two of lemon. I always feel that it adds a pop of freshness. And of course shred in some Parmesan as a nice topping
- The nutritional information should be used for informational purposes only.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: Italian