Herbed Meatball Minestrone

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Fennel adds zing to the herbed meatballs in this hearty, minestrone soup.

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  • 6 servings ServingsServings


  • 1/2 tablespoon:fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon:oregano
  • 1/2 pound:very lean ground beef
  • Salt:and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon:olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion,:sliced
  • 1 carrot,:sliced
  • 1 stalk celery,:sliced
  • 2 medium:cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup:canned whole tomatoes (including juice)
  • 1 cup:tomato juice
  • 4 cups:chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup:very small pasta
  • 1/2 cup:canned chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups:spinach, shredded
  • 1/2 cup:chopped fresh basil



  1. In a bowl combine the fennel seeds, oregano and ground beef. Add a little salt and pepper and form the mixture into small meatballs. Heat oil in a stock pot. Brown meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes. Set them aside.
  2. In the same stock (don't clean) pot saute the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil. Saute for 5 minutes without browning the vegetables.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Add the whole tomatoes, including juice, and break them up with a spoon.
  4. Add the tomato juice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  5. Add the chick peas, spinach and basil to soup. Add the meatballs to the soup and cook to heat through, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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