I’ll order soup 365 days a year – I don’t give a shit what time of the year it is. I also don’t discriminate on soup bases either – everything from broths to bisques to chowders and my interest is immediately piqued. Strangely enough, a lot of people don’t share the same passion as I do. Most notably: Stephen.
This is your pretty standard recipe – mirepoix, pasta, broth, and meatballs. I did double up the meatballs to appease the soup-hater, Stephen.
Mirepoix is just a fancy way of saying sauteed onions, carrots, and celery on low heat with either butter or oil. Typically they go all in together, but I like my onions cooked down a bit so I add them first for a few extra minutes.
Once the vegetables are soft, throw the pasta. They’ll cook in the broth and soak everything up.
I love my Better than Bouillon jars mostly to save space in my fridge or pantry. One teaspoon of it (with the equivalent amount of water) equates to 1 cup of broth. I didn’t fully measure the amount of water I used, but it was about 10-12 cups or so. If you like your soup more thick and less brothy, add less. Vice versa for brothy soups. I also threw in the widely chopped lettuce to wilt in the pot as well.
While the pot comes to a boil, prepare the meatballs. You can even substitute frozen meatballs if you’re pinched for time. I like them on the smaller side in my soup, so these were about 3/4 of an inch or so.
Once the pot comes to a rolling boil, bring it down to a strong simmer and gently drop the balls in. Should only take about 10 minutes or so if the meatballs aren’t too large. Taste and season if anything is missing. I like a deep, rich soup so I probably added more bouillon spoons than needed, but this also allowed for me to not have to add any salt.
Although missing in the photo, I did serve it with parmesan cheese (the shitty kind from a can), but fresh grated would be awesome.
The alphabet pasta is a bit childish I have to admit, but that was the only small pasta I had on hand.
Stephen said he’d “try a spoonful” and ended up eating half the pot of soup in like one sitting. Granted he mostly did pick out the meatballs and good stuff, but still a win in my book.
—ingredients for meatballs—
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tb italian seasoning
- parmesan cheese
- salt, pepper to taste
—ingredients for soup—
- meatballs (above)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- few cloves of garlic, chopped
- half a head of lettuce (escarole preferred, but anything on hand can do)
- 8 oz small pasta such as orzo, ditalini, alphabets, etc.
- 10-12 cups chicken broth (or the equivalent with Better than Bouillon)
- parmesan cheese for serving
- In a large pot (probably the biggest pot you own), saute the chopped onion, celery, and carrots with some vegetable oil on medium heat. (If you like a more caramelized onion, add them first for 5 minutes before add in the celery and carrots).
- The vegetables only need between 5-10 minutes, just keep stirring and make sure not to let it brown. Add the chopped garlic and stir for just a minute or so more until fragrant.
- Add the pasta, chopped lettuce, and either broth or water mixed with Better than Bouillon. I used probably 10 cups or so, but you can eyeball it if you like your soup brothier or thinner. Don’t forget the pasta will soak in a lot of the liquid so the broth will reduce. Also, you can always add more broth later if need be.
- While waiting to bring the pot to a boil (which should take about 10 minutes or so), prepare the meatballs. Mix the ingredients stated above and roll into small meatballs around 3/4 of an inch up to 1 inch in diameter. Once the pot reaches a rolling boil, turn down to simmer and gently drop in the meatballs.
- Continue to stir the pot so the meatballs are evenly cooked (about 10 minutes). Taste for seasoning – I ended up not needing to add salt since I added a little more Better than Bouillon than listed.
- Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese ideally. Powdered crap could work as well.