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Minestrone Mix-Up

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.
  • Makes
    8-10 servings (2-1/2 quarts)


  • 1 pound fresh spinach, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 large 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.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 141 calories, 3g fat (0 saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 422mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 5g fiber), 7g protein.

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