Fennel adds zing to the herbed meatballs in this hearty, minestrone soup.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Add the whole tomatoes, including juice, and break them up with a spoon.
- Add the tomato juice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- 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.