A delicious Meatball Minestrone Soup to enjoy all winter long

Mass Appeal

(Mass Appeal) – Fall and winter are a great time to enjoy a soup and there are so many you can choose from, like the creamy cauliflower we did earlier this week. Today, Danielle Formaro, author of ‘Add This to Your Plate: Mastering the Essentials in Cooking, Nutrition and Fitness,’ is sharing her meatball minestrone recipe with us today.

Meatball Minestrone Soup Ingredients

• 3 tbsp. avocado oil

• 1 large white onion (finely chopped)

• 2 carrots (chopped)

• 1 medium-sized zucchini (chopped)

• 1 stalk celery (chopped)

• 3 garlic cloves (minced)

• 1⁄2 tsp. salt

• 1⁄2 tsp. pepper

• 1 tbsp. fresh chopped oregano

• 1⁄4 tsp. ground dried thyme

• 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes in


• 8 cups organic vegetable broth

• 1 (15 oz.) can white navy beans (drained & rinsed)

• 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans or a small white bean like Navy Beans (drained & rinsed)

• 4 cups spinach (lightly packed)

• handful of fresh chopped basil (about 8-9 leaves)

• 1 cup whole-wheat medium shell pasta (dry)

• 1⁄4 cup fresh shaved Pecorino Romano cheese

Meatball Ingredients

1 pound ground ground meat of choice (I like meatloaf mix which is a blend of pork, beef, veal)

• 1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs (about a 2 slices whole grain bread, processed in food processor)
• 2 small garlic cloves (or 1 large), pressed through garlic press
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• Pinch red pepper flakes
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons milk


– Begin by preparing your meatballs: add the meatloaf mixture to a large bowl, along with the remainder of the meatball ingredients, using your hands, mix the mixture until well combined.

– Portion out about ½ ounce meatballs, and roll; chill meatballs for about 15 minutes.

– Once the meatballs have chilled, place a large soup pot over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil; once the oil is hot, add in about half of the meatballs, and brown them on all sides for about 3-4 minutes.

– Using a slotted spoon, remove the browned meatballs and then repeat with the remaining meatballs; set all of the browned meatballs aside for a moment.


  • Into that same pot drizzle in a bit more oil if needed add onions, carrots, zucchini, and celery and cook until A little softened (about 2 minutes). 
  • Add garlic and cook for one minute.
  • Add salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme and stir to combine ingredients.  
  • Add meatballs, tomatoes in juice, vegetable broth, beans, spinach, basil, and pasta to pot and raise heat to high until the soup comes to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, lower heat to low and simmer until pasta is cooked (about 10-15 minutes). 
  • Remove soup from heat. Last, add Pecorino Romano cheese. You may also season again with a little salt and pepper to taste if you feel it is needed.
  • Serve immediately with a some freshly grated Pecorino Romano and some slice baguette.

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