Vegetable Soup is a classic for a few very good reasons: 1) It calls for using up bits and pieces of vegetables hiding in our fridge. 2) It’s easy to put together, taking less than an hour to prepare. 3) Its flavors improve while sitting overnight in the fridge, so it’s great for making ahead.
Many homemade soups start with the same three ingredients: a can of beans, a can of diced tomatoes and a few tablespoons of brown rice. The di”erence comes from the vegetables added to the pot. We always try to include onion, celery and carrots and vary the rest depending on the season.
While the vegetables and rice simmer, there is just enough time to make the meatballs. Cooking the meatballs in the soup after they’ve browned makes the broth very flavorful.!When first made, the balance of broth and vegetables is just right. But as the pot sits, especially overnight, the soup thickens. To thin the soup, add a little more water. We like to ladle the soup into large, shallow plates, sprinkle it with chopped parsley or grated Parmigiano Reggiano and serve it with salad and crusty whole-grain bread.
White Bean and Vegetable Soup with Meatballs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced celery
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
3 tablespoons long-grain brown rice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley
1 pound ground turkey breast
6 tablespoons seasoned dry breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, celery and zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, broth, water, rice, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
2. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
3. To prepare meatballs, combine turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Shape into 26 to 30 meatballs.
4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook until brown on all sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
5. Add meatballs to soup, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked. Ladle into soup plates and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serves 6.
Per serving: 330 calories, 16g fat, 80mg chol., 19g prot., 27g carbs., 6g fiber, 1060mg sodium
Photo by Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn