Somehow, we seem to be busier than ever – especially over the holidays. I have been focusing on meals that are both quick and won’t have a ton of leftovers since we have been running everywhere and haven’t had as many meals at home as we normally do (generally all but one or two).
Of course that also means what I make needs to be something that the wee ones will eat or that’s pretty much negated my goal. Fortunately, soups tend to be something that the wee ones really enjoy – and it even gets Mister Man to eat things he’s not quite sure he really likes, such as tomatoes and celery. Win win for everyone!
3 oz whole wheat pasta
1 T olive oil
1/2 c onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (don’t use the jarred stuff!)
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes (go for the ones with no added salt)
1 t salt
3 c chicken stock (again, look for the low sodium ones)
1/2 lb ground beef or turkey (we use turkey for this – since it’s in a soup, it stays really moist)
1 egg, beaten
1/3 c bread crumbs
1/4 c milk
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
pepper, to taste
Heat a heavy soup pot on the stove on medium. When it is heated, add the olive oil then the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is softened and translucent, generally about three or four minutes.
Add 1/2 t salt, the tomatoes and chicken stock to the soup pot. Reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes with the lid on.
While the tomatoes and stock are simmering, make your meatballs. Place the ground beef or turkey, egg, milk, bread crumbs, 1/2 t salt, and pepper. Use your hands to mix it together until it is uniform. Form into mini meatballs, and put in the fridge to chill until the broth is ready.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions once you’ve made the meatballs while the broth is simmering, cooking the pasta a minute or two less than the directions say to ensure it’s al dente. Drain and set aside.
Using an immersion blender, puree the tomato broth (with the wee ones, we need to ensure they don’t have the texture of the onion or tomato). Add the chilled meatballs to the broth and simmer for another fifteen minutes – ensuring that the meatballs are cooked through.
Serve the soup immediately, topping with pasta and some extra pepper, if desired. If you (like me) need more cheese, add some more Parmesan, too. Yum!
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