Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Meatball Tortellini Soup

I was really surprised how much we all liked this recipe, Harper included. Although it's not as quick of a meal for a weeknight, there are ways to prep on the weekend to speed up the time spent standing over the stove. It's perfect for a Saturday or Sunday because it can feed an army or you can plan to eat this for lunch during the week like I do.
The recipe has three main components: Soup, Tortellini and Meatballs. I used this recipe from Food Network as my inspiration, but called on a couple other blogs and recipes I've made in the past as I went along. Keep reading to find out how it all came together.

I started by making the best tasting meatball ever and referenced these recipes from my past.
1 lb ground beef
2 T grated onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1 egg
2 T shredded parmesan
1/2 t salt
1 handful of cilantro and celery leaves (I would have used parsley if I had it on hand, but I improvised and it was just great)

Mix all the ingredients by hand and then roll into small bite size balls. I fried these in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil and butter until they were brown on all sides and then set aside on a plate.

Then I made the best soup ever and referenced this chicken noodle soup recipe.
1/2 onion, chopped
4 carrots, large dice
2 celery, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C dry sherry
1 sprig of rosemary (these are the two herbs I used because it was the fresh herbs I had on hand)
5 sprigs of thyme
8 cups chicken stock (I use the Better than Bouillon mixed with water to taste)

In a dutch oven I sautéed the onion, carrots, celery and fresh herbs for about 10 minutes in olive oil and butter until just starting to brown and then I added the garlic last. After another minute, I added the dry sherry. Once the sherry had nearly evaporated I started adding the chicken stock.

The last piece of the recipe is the tortellini. I don't think I want to take on making these by hand - I've done homemade dumplings before and they are so much work. For this recipe, I purchased fresh four cheese tortellini made by Buitoni but I will look for something new in the future. I felt like these were bland. I boiled 5 quarts of water, and added the tortellini for 7 minutes.

To bring it all together, chop two cups of kale (or collard greens or baby spinach) and add it to the soup along with the meatballs and tortellini. Bring to a simmer, taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve in large soup bowls and top with more shredded parmesan cheese.  

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