We’re in the dying throes of our never ending winter; all it took for the snow to (mostly) disappear was a trip away from town where the weather could adjust itself away from my glaring, watchful eyes. I can see most of my yard and both of our gardening space. We’ve purchased seeds and plants and they’re on the way; everything but my blueberry bush and my cilantro seeds have shipped. I’ve been staring hard out of the windows through the rain, appraising the dirt that surrounds the house. We’ve got big growing plans, people. Big ones.
At the end of summer after everything is harvested, I am going to make the following soup again, just because I think it would be outstanding full of garden vegetables. Minestrone by and large doesn’t excite me that much. Throw some meatballs in there though and I get all kinds of happy. Sometimes I’m easy to please, other times, no. What can I say? This version of it is quite tasty and like I said, would be even better made with home grown vegetables.
Meatball Minestrone Soup
recipe adapted from the Circle B Kitchen
pancetta if you can find it, I used bacon
yellow onion, chopped
celery stalks and leaves, chopped
garlic cloves, minced
a small zucchini, diced
asparagus stalks, tough ends chopped and discarded, the rest cut into bite size pieces
tomatoes, diced (I used romas)
a Tablespoon or so of tomato paste
small pasta (I used some ditalini tube pasta)
cannelini beans (I think I used maybe half a can)
meatballs (use your favorite meatball recipe or look at the link above for a recipe)
In a soup pot, cook the bacon or pancetta until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside. If you have at least a Tablespoon or two of bacon grease leftover, cool, if not add some olive oil to supplement. Add in the onion, celery, carrots and garlic and cook until the veg has softened. Add the zucchini and asparagus; cook a few more minutes. Add tomatoes, the paste, and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the beans, let it simmer on low while you heat some oil in a skillet for your meatballs. Brown your meatballs, transfer to the soup pot. Stir in the pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente. Check your seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you need to. Serve with grated parmesan.