Monday, May 18, 2009

Meatball, Pasta and Spinach Soup

After a week of bread, muffins and brownies, don't you think it's time we eat something a little healthier? Maybe so we won't have to get the fat pants out again? Or maybe it's already too late for us?

And of course, by us, I mean me.

This soup was inspired by a Rachael Ray recipe. The main thing that I changed was that I browned/cooked my meatballs before adding them to the soup. This added an extra layer of flavor due to the yummy caramelized bits left on the bottom of the pan after browning. I've watched Rachael enough to know that she'd have made it this way too if she wasn't under that darn 30-minute meal deadline. I also chose to use ground turkey breast because I can fit more of it into my fat pants.

Meatball, Pasta and Spinach Soup

1 pound ground turkey breast seasoned with 1 Tbsp Penzey's sausage seasoning
1 pound ground turkey sausage
1 egg
1/3 cup dried whole wheat bread crumbs
1/3 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups dried pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti, broken into 4ths)
6 oz bag of fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
parmesan cheese

Combine meat, egg, bread crumbs and milk. Shape into small meatballs. Season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in soup pot. Working in batches, add meatballs to hot oil and cook thoroughly, turned after a few minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from pot and drain on paper towels.

To the remaining oil, add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Saute to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, then add spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Remove bay leaf. Add in the spinach and simmer for a minute to wilt spinach. Add meatballs back in and season again with salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

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