On a cold day, there's nothing better than this soup with crusty homemade bread. I am a seamstress with three children. My husband and I enjoy fishing, camping, hunting...and eating!—Katherine Lewis, Carlsbad, New Mexico
- 1 pound fresh spinach, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 can (16 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1-1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
- Tomato juice, optional
- In a bowl, combine the spinach, bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper; add beef and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls.
- Heat oil in Dutch oven or large soup kettle; brown meatballs on all sides. Remove and keep warm. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, celery, carrots, beans, spices and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
- Stir in macaroni and meatballs; cook 15 minutes longer or until the meatballs are cooked and the macaroni is tender. If soup is too thick, thin with tomato juice if desired. Yield: 8-10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).
Originally published as Minestrone Mix-Up in Country Ground Beef 1993, p19
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