Winter means soup. Of course, that can be challenging when winter in Southern California means 80 degree weather in the middle of January. Then when the January/February edition of Food Network Magazine showed up and they had Meatball Tortellini Soup on the cover, I knew, it would be on our menu very soon. Of course, I had to make a few of my own “modifications” to the recipe, but I love the idea of a simple, yet filling soup I can throw together in just a few minutes. This Meatball and Tortellini Soup certainly fits the bill! Even in 80 degree weather, it’s a keeper!
I used my own meatball recipe for this soup. The great thing about meatballs, you can make a LOT and they freeze beautifully! I used 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb of sausage, which yielded approx. 50 mini meatballs. We only used 10 for the soup, so I have 40 more meatballs in my freezer now for meatball sandwiches, spaghetti and yes, another batch or two of soup. I love that! You can find the recipe for my meatballs, HERE!
As your meatballs cook, throw together this deliciously easy broth of diced carrots, diced celery, onions and garlic. Pre-packaged cheese tortellini makes the dish simple and if you have Organic Girl Baby Spinach in your market, please use it! You will taste the quality! When the meatballs come out of the oven, put the amount you want into the soup, then set the rest aside to cool. I seasoned the broth with some red pepper flakes, white pepper and poultry seasoning and viola! Dinner was served! Some freshly grated parmesan cheese over the top and hot french bread completed the meal. It may have taken a total of 45 minutes to put the whole thing together (including making the meatballs). That’s not bad for a busy weeknight meal!
Meatball and Tortellini Soup!
For the Meatballs
1 pkg Jimmy Dean Sausage
1 lb hamburger
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 envelope Lipton beefy onion soup mix
1 TBLS minced onion
Salt/Pepper to taste
For the Soup
2 TBLS extra-virgin Olive Oil
2 Carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1 9-oz package refrigerated cheese tortellini
4 cups loosely packed baby spinach (I used Organic Girl Good Clean Greens)
1 TBLS poultry seasoning
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and White Pepper to taste
2 TBLS freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp fresh parsley, minced
For the Meatballs
Heat oven to 400 degrees
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Roll meat out into golf-ball sized meatballs. (Use a small cookie scoop if you have one – it makes it much easier to portion out)
Set meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Once they are done baking, add the number of meatballs you want to your soup and freeze the rest. We used only 10 meatballs for the soup.
For the Soup
In a dutch oven, or stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add carrots, celery and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add minced garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
Add chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil.
Add the meatballs to the pot once they come out of the oven.
Season broth with poultry seasoning, pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Add tortellini and cook until they float to the top. Mine took about 8 minutes.
Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.
Taste and adjust any seasonings.
Scoop into bowls and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and some fresh parsley.
Serve with hot french bread and a glass of red wine!