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Herbed Meatball Minestrone


Fennel adds zing to the herbed meatballs in this hearty, minestrone soup.  Healthy, one pot dinner the whole family will love. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6Servings


  • ½ tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ pound very lean ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup canned whole tomatoes (including juice)
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup very small pasta
  • ½ cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups spinach, shredded
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil


  1. In a bowl combine the fennel seeds, oregano and ground beef. Add a little salt and pepper and form the mixture into small meatballs. Heat oil in a stock pot. Brown meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes. Set them aside.
  2. In the same stock (don't clean) pot saute the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil. Saute for 5 minutes without browning the vegetables.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Add the whole tomatoes, including juice, and break them up with a spoon.
  4. Add the tomato juice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  5. Add the chickpeas, spinach and basil to soup. Add the meatballs to the soup and cook to heat through, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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