Italian Meatball Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 pound ground turkey (preferably 93% lean)
- 1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, if present, and coarsely crumbled
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup seasoned fine dry breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
- 6 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 1/2 cup small pasta shapes, such as ditalini or little shells
- 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 6 cups chopped Swiss chard or spinach
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Brush an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with the tablespoon of olive oil; set aside.
2. In a large bowl mix together the meatball ingredients. Form into 36 1-inch meatballs and place them snugly into the prepared pan in rows, making sure the balls are touching. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until done (165 degrees F) and lightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute for 12 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
4. Add the chicken broth and bring to boiling. Add the pasta and cannellini beans. Cook as directed on the pasta package, adding the Swiss chard and meatballs the last 2 minutes of cooking.
5. Remove the soup from the heat. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Transfer the soup to serving bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.