Minestrone and Meatball Soup
Serves six to eight
For the meatballs (makes 24)
½ lb. ground pork
½ lb. ground round
2-3 springs rosemary, de-stemmed and minced (about 1 tbsp.)
2-3 sage leaves, minced (about 1 tbsp.)
½ clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
½ c. bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 400º.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, ground round, rosemary, sage, garlic, egg, salt, and 1/4 c. bread crumbs. Mix until well incorporated.
3. Shape the meat into 1½-inch balls, lightly cover with the remaining bread crumbs, and place on a baking sheet.
4. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
For the soup
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 md. onion, diced (about 1 c.)
½ garlic clove, minced
1-2 carrots, thinly sliced (about ½ c.)
1-2 celery stalks, thinly sliced (about ½ c.)
28-oz. can diced tomatoes
2-3 sprigs thyme
3-4 sprigs rosemary
2-3 sage leaves
5 c. chicken stock
5 leaves fresh basil, cut in a chiffonade
1 bay leaf
1 zucchini, diced
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
1 c. pasta shells, cooked al dente according to package directions
Parmesan cheese for garnish
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a medium-size stockpot. Add onion and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir consistently until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
2. Add garlic, carrots, and celery, and cook an additional 3-5 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
4. Tie the thyme, rosemary, and sage into a bundle with kitchen twine.
5. Add herb bundle, tomato paste, stock, and bay leaf to pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer 20-30 minutes.
6. Once the vegetables are tender, add kale and pasta and cook an additional 5 minutes.
7. Salt and pepper to taste.
8. Place one or two meatballs in a wide bowl. Ladle soup around meatballs and sprinkle with cheese.