Monday, February 27, 2012

Spinach Pesto Meatball Soup

I feel comfortable stating that this has been the best winter ever. For a girl that doesn’t like the cold and snow (but mostly the snow), the super warm and dry winter we’ve had has been heavenly for me. I don’t care if it snows a little in March (which it will), or even in April (which it could), because the snow won’t stick around long. Chances are high the temperatures will raise by the next day and the snow will be gone. The beauty of spring.

During a brief cold spell a few weeks ago, we made Spinach-Pesto Meatball Soup. We got this recipe from C’s mom. I don’t know where she found it, but it’s a family favorite. It’s very easy and extremely hearty. We usually make this a few times throughout winter. I’d probably make it at least once more this season if it weren’t for our meat-free Lent.

Spinach-Pesto Meatball Soup

1 16 oz pkg frozen Italian meatballs
2 14-1/2 oz cans diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
1 15 oz can cannellini beans
½ cup water
¼ cup reduced fat basil pesto
1 small can of tomato sauce
2 cups baby spinach (we have used frozen chopped spinach a few times which is good too. Just add it from the beginning so it thaws and heats through)
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese plus a little extra to sprinkle on top

Combine meatballs, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, water, pesto and tomato sauce. (also go ahead and add the spinach if using frozen) Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. If you’re in a hurry, you can let this simmer for less time, just make sure the meatballs are thawed and heated through. Stir in baby spinach (if using fresh) and the shredded Parmesan cheese. Let heat for another minute or two to let the cheese melt and the spinach wilt a little. Ladle into bowls and enjoy.

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