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Minestrone Mix-Up Recipe

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
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 1hour 35 min. YIELD:10 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 1. In a bowl, combine the spinach, bread crumbs, egg, salt and pepper; add beef and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. 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).

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 cup) equals 141 calories, 3 g fat (trace saturated fat), 21 mg cholesterol, 422 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 7 g protein.