This meatball soup recipe is a tasty twist on your favorite pasta and meatballs dish. Plus, the tomato-based broth provides an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as folic acid.
Orzo (pronounced awr-zoh) is the name of the small rice-shaped grains of pasta used in this soup. It is available in classic, whole grain, and even gluten-free varieties.
And one important tip: you'll want to try to keep the meatballs all about the same size so they cook uniformly.
Yields: 4-6 servings
1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
3 tablespoons orzo
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups beef stock, homemade preferred (beef stock recipe)
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 can tomato puree (29 ounces)
1 tablespoon sugar
Parmesan cheese rind
1/4 cup orzo
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1. In a large bowl, mix together meatball ingredients: ground turkey, 3 tablespoons orzo, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, 2 teaspoons fresh basil, parsley, black pepper, and salt.
2. Form into 1-inch meatballs. Try to keep them small and uniform for even cooking.
3. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add a portion of the meatballs spaced about an inch apart and cook until they are brown on all sides and no longer pink. Once browned, transfer to a paper towel lined plate and start cooking the next batch in the same manner.
4. Return all of the meatballs back to the pot and add the beef stock, bay leaves, chopped onion, sugar, tomato puree, and Parmesan rind.
5. Heat to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 25 minutes.
6. Stir in 1/4 cup orzo. Cook until the orzo is tender, about 10 minutes.
7. Remove the bay leaves and Parmesan rind; discard.
8. Ladle into bowls and serve hot. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
We have been enjoying the taste of meatballs since at least the days of Ancient Rome, where they added fine white bread soaked in wine, among other ingredients, to their meatball recipes. Popular in many cultures and cuisines, the recipes for meatballs vary according to local ingredients and family tradition.
For example, consider Swedish meatballs covered with a brown gravy and commonly served over buttered noodles. And Middle Eastern kofta, spicy meatballs made with a wide variety of ingredients and then grilled, baked, fried, or roasted.
With all of this love for meatballs, it seems only natural that there should be meatball soups - like this delightful Tomato Orzo Meatball Soup Recipe. Enjoy!
May the romance of soup making wash over your day with happiness.
"The Food Timeline: History Notes-meat." Food Timeline: Food History Research Service. Accessed February 19, 2017. http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodmeats.html#meatloaf.