ITALIAN MEATBALL SOUP
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This hearty and nourishing Italian meatball soup is topped with two cheeses and fresh basil. Serve with bread and butter and you might find you can easily get 5 portions out of this meal.

Italian meatball soup in a bowl with bread and butter.

I had to fit one more soup recipe in while the cold weather is still here!

This Italian meatball soup is a lot more substantial than many soups, especially when served with bread and butter. If you leave it sitting around for too long, the pasta will absorb a lot of the liquid and it becomes more of a pasta dish. If this happens, you can add more stock or water, or just enjoy it as a pasta instead.

Keen for more soups? Check out the Y.U.M soup collection (it’s only a small collection at the moment!).

 

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Italian meatball soup in a bowl with bread and butter.

ITALIAN MEATBALL SOUP

Keyword: BEEF, MAIN MEALS
Difficulty: Easy
Ready In: 45 minutes

This hearty and nourishing Italian meatball soup is topped with two cheeses and fresh basil. Serve with bread and butter and you might find you can easily get 5 portions out of this meal.

QUICK PRINT

Ingredients

MEATBALLS

  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (33g)
  • 1/4 cup milk (60ml)
  • 400 g prime beef mince (14oz)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan (23g)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked pepper

SOUP

  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups beef stock (500ml)
  • 2 x 400 g cans pesto flavoured tomatoes (2 x 14oz)
  • 400 g can crushed and sieved tomatoes (14oz)
  • 1 cup water (250ml)
  • 4 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 250 g short dried pasta (i.e. orzo, macaroni, spirals) (8.8oz)
  • 1/2 cup milk (125ml) (optional)

TO SERVE

  • 80 g cherry bocconcini or mozarella (2.8oz) (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan (45g)
  • Handful fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • Fresh bread (i.e. ciabatta) (optional)

Instructions

  1. PREPARE MEATBALLS AND VEGGIES

    Place breadcrumbs and milk in a medium-large bowl. Leave to soften for 2 minutes. Add mince, parmesan, garlic powder, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix, then shape into small meatballs (you should get between 30-35).

  2. Finely dice carrot, celery and onion. Crush garlic.

  3. COOK MEATBALLS AND SOUP

    Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick pot on medium-high. Add meatballs in a single layer and brown all over (they do not need to be cooked through). Transfer to a plate.

  4. Add remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil to pot. Stir in carrot, celery, onion and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften. Pour in beef stock and stir, then add canned tomatoes, water, sugar, oregano and basil.

  5. Increase heat to bring soup to a rapid simmer. Add pasta and meatballs, reduce heat down to medium and simmer for 12 minutes, until pasta is al dente and meatballs are cooked through. Stir in milk, if using, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  6. SERVE

    Divide soup between warmed individual serving bowls. Top with sliced bocconcini, parmesan and basil (if using), season with cracked pepper and serve immediately. Delicious with fresh bread and butter!

Recipe Notes

WINE MATCH: Go for a Pinot Noir.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION
: Choose gluten-free panko breadcrumbs and gluten-free stock. Use gluten- free pasta, just be careful not to overcook it (also, the leftovers may not keep as well). Serve with warm gluten-free bread.
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: If you can’t find pesto flavoured tomatoes, use Italian flavoured instead. I used radiatori pasta that I found in Farro Fresh, but any short pasta will work. For a richer soup, you could use cream instead of milk.
STORING AND REHEATING: Soup is best served immediately, as the pasta will continue to absorb the liquid over time (becoming a pasta dish rather than a soup!). If it thickens too much, you can add more water or stock - the same applies to leftovers, which can be reheated on the stove top or in the microwave. Otherwise, just eat it as a meatball pasta!

 

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