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Italian Meatball Soup

Italian Meatball Soup


For the meatballs
1 pound ground beef
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste (I recommend a minimum of 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the soup
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 yellow onions, diced (about 1 cup)
6 regular sized carrots, peeled and chopped
6 stalks of celery, chopped
8 small golden potatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
5 cloves garlic, minced
(1) 32 ounce container beef broth
(1) 32 ounce container chicken broth
(1) 6 oz can tomato paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh parsley


In a large bowl combine the beef, garlic, egg, cheese, Italian seasoning, parsley, salt, pepper, and panko; use your hands to combine. Slowly add the water, a few tablespoons at a time, using your hands to incorporate until combined. The mixture should be very moist but still hold its shape when rolled into meatballs. Using a measuring spoon, roll one tablespoon sized balls of meat into round, right balls; repeat with all meat.
Add oil to a large dutch oven (or soup pot) and bring to a simmer over medium-heat. Add in the meatballs - all at once if there's room, or in two batches - and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Using a slotted spoon carefully remove the meatballs, transferring them to large plate; set aside until needed.
Keep pan (and all remaining oil inside) on the burner over medium-heat.
For the soup
In the same *pan you cooked the meatballs, add crushed red pepper flakes and onion and saute for 6 minutes. Add in the carrots, celery, and potatoes and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add beef broth, chicken broth, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce (if using), stirring until combined and the tomato paste has completely dissolved into the broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in the bay leaves, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the meatballs back into the pot and cook for another 15 minutes. Stir in the cheese, taste for seasoning (add salt and pepper if needed), sprinkle with parsley, and serve at once. Add more cheese to each bowl, if desired.

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