Fennel adds zing to the herbed meatballs in this hearty, minestrone soup. Healthy, one pot dinner the whole family will love.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Add the whole tomatoes, including juice, and break them up with a spoon.
- Add the tomato juice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- 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.