It has been ridiculously snowy and cold in our area this week. While it is not my idea of paradise, it is perfect weather for soup. I had ground beef, bacon and vegetable bits to use before they went bad, and this meatball soup is a great way to use those leftovers.
Use whatever vegetables, you have on hand. In my soup, I used a combination of onion, celery, carrots and zucchini, but other vegetables would be equally tasty. If you have leftover vegetables in your fridge, throw those in as well.
You can make this soup on the weekend and keep it refrigerated for a quick, hot dinner during the week.
Defrost and drain spinach. Place between paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
In a bowl, combine meatball ingredients, mixing well. Roll out tablespoon sized meatballs and place on a platter. When the meatballs are all rolled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While meatballs are chilling, cook bacon and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in pan.
Saute vegetables in pan with bacon fat until soft. Set aside.
In a large pot or dutch oven, measure out broth, water, garlic and spices. Bring to a simmer.
In the pan used to saute the vegetables, brown meatballs well on all sides.
Add meatballs, sauteed vegetables and bacon to broth. Heat all the way through.
Make pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Keep separate from soup.
To serve: scoop warm pasta into each bowl and then scoop hot soup over the top. Sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired.
This soup freezes well. To freeze, do not add pasta. Allow soup to cool and store in airtight plastic freezer containers.
This Meatball Soup recipe is organic, and can be gluten free with substitutions.