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Backyard Blogging.

Mini Meatball Minestrone

We love this easy recipe for Mini Meatball Minestrone, a warm and comforting soup. Full of hearty flavor, you’ll love the bite-sized, tender meatballs simmered in a flavorful broth filled with cannellini beans and spinach.

Ingredients

Main

4 Tablespoon olive oil
2/3 red or yellow onion, diced
2 2/3 carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
4 Stalk celery, sliced
2 2/3 Small parsnips, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
kosher salt
4 Clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/3 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 2/3 Teaspoon fennel seed
1 1/3 Teaspoon oregano
1 1/3 Pinch chile flakes
8 Cup high-quality (or homemade) low sodium chicken stock
1 1/3 (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 1/3 (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
5 1/3 Cup baby spinach leaves or chopped Swiss chard
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Meatballs

1 1/3 Pound ground dark meat turkey or pork
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/3 Teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/3 Teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 1/3 Teaspoon fennel seed
2/3 Teaspoon oregano
1 1/3 egg, whisked

Instructions

When ready to cook, set Traeger temperature to 400℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes. Place a Dutch oven or large stockpot on Traeger to preheat. When the grill and pot are hot, add the olive oil, onion, carrots, celery and parsnip, along with a teaspoon of salt. Stir to coat the vegetables with the olive oil, then quickly put the lid down on the grill.

Cook the vegetables for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once, until the onions are soft. Add the garlic cloves and tomato paste and stir. Put the lid down on the grill again and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to release the flavor of the garlic without burning it.

Stir in the fennel seed, oregano and chile flakes to combine, then add the stock and the crushed tomatoes. Place the lid on the Dutch oven, leaving it slightly askew to allow some steam to escape, then close the grill.

Allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes, reducing the temperature on the grill if necessary to prevent the soup from boiling.

While the soup simmers, make the meatballs. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the egg. Using clean hands, combine the mixture until it is evenly mixed. Add the whisked egg and stir to incorporate.

Using a small ice cream scoop or your hands, scoop out 18 to 24 meatballs. Place them gently into the soup, spreading them out so they can cook through. Once all of the meatballs are in the liquid, add the beans without stirring the soup. Place the lid on again, leaving it slightly askew, close the grill, and simmer the meatballs for another 10 minutes.

Check to ensure one of the meatballs is cooked through before removing from the grill. When finished, gently add the spinach leaves and stir.

Serve immediately sprinkled with more Parmesan cheese, or allow to cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

Recipe and photo from Traeger.