"After one taste, you'll find that this soup is absolutely delicious," promises Paula Sullivan from Barker, New York. "Lean ground beef and reduced sodium broth help keep it light. For variety, substitute garbanzo beans for the kidney beans."
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 1/4 cup uncooked orzo or acini di pepe pasta
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups chopped fresh spinach
- In a large bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, parsley, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 3/4-in. meatballs.
- Place in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink; drain.
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a large saucepan, saute onion and celery in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, beans and spinach. Stir in pasta, meatballs and remaining salt and pepper.
- Cook until spinach is tender and meatballs are heated through. Garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese. Yield: 7 servings.
Originally published as Italian Wedding Soup in Light & Tasty June/July 2005, p12
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