Friday, August 22, 2014

Spaghetti & Meatball Soup

I have been on a soup making kick!  Soups are by far my favorite thing to make because they take time, effort, and lots of love.  Yesterday I went to a conference put on by the Greater Portland Postal Customer Council and the USPS and it was pretty darn interesting, a whole world away from my librarian roots.  I was surprised at how formal everyone was and there were long gaps of nothing to do.  This surprised me because in the conference planning that I've done we always run out of time.  I'm excited to relax this weekend and go out on date night tonight with my man.  We are going to the awesome St. Johns Theater to see Sin City 2, drink beer and eat pizza, all of which sounds easy and fun to me.  I adapted this recipe and found this soup to be delightful.

Serves 6

The Ingredients
1 lbs ground beef
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons almond flour
1 ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning, divided
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 medium carrots, grated (I used a box grater)
1 small zucchini, grated (I used a box grater)
½ medium onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & pepper
32 oz chicken broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
24 oz jar of marinara sauce
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup uncooked broken wheat spaghetti pieces (1 inch sticks)
1 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

The Process
1.  In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, garlic powder, tablespoon of grated Parmesan, almond flour, ¾ teaspoon of the Italian seasoning, and egg. Using your hands (or a spoon), mush all the ingredients together until well combined. Roll meat mixture into 30 separate (3/4” – 1”) mini meatballs.

2.  In a large stock pot bring 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the oil and cook them, stirring occasionally until all sides are browned. Remove meatballs to a dish and set aside.

3.  Add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the pot and continue to heat to medium. Add the carrots, zucchini, onion and garlic and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened.

4.  Add the meatballs, chicken broth, marinara sauce, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar
 and remaining ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning to the pot with the vegetables. Stir together and cover. Bring the mixture to a boil, uncover and lower the heat to a simmer. Add the spaghetti pieces and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the pasta and the meatballs are cooked through. Add the Parmesan cheese in the last couple minutes of the simmer and stir in.

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