Fast and Easy Minestrone
Eileen Goltz |
- Frozen Spinach: Insect prone vegetables, are not made permissible by the freezing process. These vegetables should only be purchased when bearing proper certification. Uncertified frozen varieties such as spinach, cauliflower, broccoli and asparagus are most difficult to check thoroughly. They are therefore not recommended.
- 1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed
- 1½ lbs. lean ground beef
- ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion
- 7 cups beef or chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can whole tomatoes
- 1 (15.5 oz.) can kidney beans
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon crumbled dried basil leaves
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup uncooked rotelli pasta (4 oz.)
- Coarsely chop onion. Mash tomatoes with a spoon. Set both aside
- Squeeze as much moisture as possible from spinach. Mix together with beef, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, and pepper. Shape into 1-inch balls.
- Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until very hot. Add a few meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels. Repeat till all are browned.
- Remove excess oil and add onion to Dutch oven; cook until opaque.
- Stir in broth, tomatoes, beans, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add carrots and celery; cover and simmer for 10 minutes more.
- Stir in pasta; cover and simmer until done, about 10 minutes.
- Add meatballs and heat through, about 5 minutes.
- Ladle into soup bowls.