One of the first bits of advice you get when starting a blog is to always have a few articles or topics in the making so you can publish a new blog post at any time. So whenever a new idea pops in to my head, I quickly write it down and begin researching the topic when I have a spare minute here or there. In the coming weeks, I’ll be talking about mealtime strategies for picky eaters, foods to eat when pregnant, and recommendations on added sugar in foods – just to name a few!
But with January in full swing and the cold, wet weather that comes with it, I thought I would share one of our family’s new favourite soup recipes. It is, after all, National Soup Month in the United States!
My husband, Doug, isn’t the biggest fan of soup. Maybe it’s because soup is extremely versatile? And, it deliciously combines fresh ingredients and a hot liquid to create a comfort food masterpiece? Or that soup makes great leftovers? Or maybe he’s just exceptionally warm-blooded and the sight of soup makes him sweat? Well whatever the reason may be, whenever I find a soup recipe he enjoys, it becomes a staple in our house.
I found this recipe for Italian Meatball Soup last September when there was a free-preview of the Food Network for the entire month! (I’m too frugal to pay for additional channels… plus I wouldn’t get anything done if I had access to nonstop cooking shows!) This recipe is adapted from Ree Drummond’s version at The Pioneer Woman.
What I love the most about soup is you can use pretty much any vegetable, starch, meat or beans, and broth/stock you have on hand in your fridge or pantry to make it. Have a picky eater that doesn’t like chunks of vegetables showing up in his soup? Puree the cooked vegetables with the broth before adding the meat and/or noodles to the soup. Over time you can reintroduce the vegetables once he realizes he enjoys the recipe!
Anyways – here’s the recipe! Did I mention Doug loves this soup?
Italian Meatball Soup
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Yield: 12 to 14 servings
1 pound (16 oz) lean or extra lean ground beef
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg
1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 cups low-sodium beef stock/broth
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 cups chopped russet potatoes (unpeeled) (approx. 1 large potato)
2 cups minced carrots (approx. 4 large carrots)
1 cup minced onion (approx. 1/2 large white onion)
3 cups chopped kale (stems removed)
Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation from Food Network or Ree Drummond for this post!
Notes from the Chef:
The meatballs in this soup are extremely versatile. If you’re up for it, make a double batch of the meatballs and freeze to use on a later date for soups, pastas, or appetizers. When grocery shopping, choose a low-sodium or no-salt beef stock/broth. Individuals can always add more salt later if they prefer. This recipe also uses a bouquet garni to infuse flavours into the broth from herbs. I did not have any cheesecloth on hand, so I just placed heat-resistant mesh colander with the herbs directly in the pot for easy retrieval later. I added more vegetables and stock to the original recipe so I would have some for leftovers and to bring to a neighbour. (Soup is a great thing to bring after the birth of a baby, death of a loved one, or for family potlucks.) I had kale on hand so I added that to the recipe instead of cabbage and celery. Kale is an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and beta-carotene (a nutrient that turns into vitamin A).
Your turn! Do you like to cozy up with a hot bowl of soup this time of the year? What’s your favourite soup recipe? Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!
Hello, I'm Erin – a follower of Christ, wife, mama of two, and registered dietitian. Welcome to my blog where I write about intentional motherhood, intuitive eating, inspired discipleship, and whatever else I feel like!
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