If you've found yourself with a hankering for something warm in this winter of polar vortexes (I can hear you all saying "amen sista!!" from here), this is a nice snow day treat that will feed you for days. Better yet--it just takes an hour or so from start to finish! Just about the best thing that you can do for yourself on a week when you know you'll be cold, busy, and lazy. Feel free to do some cost-benefit analysis if you don't believe me, but you're just going to make yourself hungry so you should probably get chopping.
Here's the recipe I used from the food network as my starting point. It was a great base for the measurements and the directions, but I think my distaste for following rules keeps me from ever doing a recipe perfectly. Ooooh you rebel Gu. I know. I know! Lets get on with this soup, Lushies, I'm getting cold!
Meatball Minestrone Soup
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 lb ground mild italian sausage
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2-3 stalks celery, sliced and then chopped a little smaller
1 cup kale, chopped finely
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt & pepper
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
1 can crushed tomatoes (14 oz)
6 cups chicken broth
1 can red kidney beans, strained (15 oz)
1/2 cup (dry) Stelline pasta -- that's right, get your stars on!
Makes about 10 servings
Phew! I know that feels like a long shopping list, but it separates pretty easily into one trip to the produce section, and one to the canned veggies. Then get thee to the kitchen!
I started with my lazybones meatballs. Without adding a single thing to the sausage, roll it up into 24 meatballs, each a little less than an inch in diameter. There, you finished your meatball prep. Is that lazybones or what?! Anyway, heat up your olive oil in the pot you'll be using to get ur get ur soup on, and toss in those meatballs. Let them fry, stirring every four or five minutes, until they're cooked through. Using a slotted spoon and leaving as much meatball flavor behind as possible, scoop them out onto a paper towel-lined plate and save for later.
Now toss your veggies in there! First cook the onions for about five minutes, then add the celery and carrots for about five more, then toss in the spices and the kale and give it a stir for another few.
Once the veggies are a bit soft and the onions are nice and translucent, add the chicken broth and the diced and crushed tomatoes. I would recommend briefly taking the pot off of the burner as you're doing so, otherwise there will be lots of scary sizzling and whatnot before things get back to normal. Return the full pot to the burner and bring your soup to a boil.
Reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add the beans, stir long enough to sing the 'magical fruit' song to yourself a couple times, and then add the stars. Despite your every instincts, only give the soup about 5 minutes once the pasta is in--those puppies will keep cooking and take over! I don't think it matters too much when you add the meatballs during these last few steps. I think I did so when at the same time as the stars!
And there you have it! As long as you have an affinity for serenely stirring a pot of soup, this recipe is a great one to have in your back pocket. This was my first time making it--my first time making soup at all come to think of it--and I am in love.
We're gonna have a tv party tonight, alright!