Despite what the name suggests, this soup isn’t served at weddings. Originally called Minestra Maritata in Italian, its name is a reference to the combination of greens and meat that go well together. There are endless variations to this soup, like chicken and Swiss chard-so be creative and add whatever you have on hand.

Serves 6

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups finely diced carrot
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 cups water or chicken stock, or 1 tsp coarse sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped spinach
  • 1 cup cooked pasta, such as farfalle (bow-tie) or conchiglie (seashell shaped)

Meatballs:

  • 0.5 lb (227 g) lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, parsley, bread crumbs, egg, basil and pepper. Using the palm of your hand, roll mixture into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. When pan is hot, add carrots, onions and celery; saute for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Add garlic; saute for another minute.
  3. Add water, salt and bay leaves; bring to a boil over high heat. Gently add the meatballs to the soup and continue to boil for 5 minutes without stirring.
  4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add spinach and cooked pasta to the soup; stir and continue to cook for 5 minutes until spinach is wilted and pasta is heated through.

Nutrition:

Per 1-1/3 cup serving: 172 cal, 12 g pro, 6 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 17 g carb, 3 g fibre, 48 mg chol, 524 mg sodium

– from the book, Leslie Beck’s Healthy Kitchen, by Leslie Beck RD with Michelle Gelok RD

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