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Italian Meatball (or Meatless) Soup

September 27, 2010

The garden is overflowing with carrots, green beans, tomatoes and bell peppers. The apple trees are heavy laden with fruit. The pumpkins are growing bigger everyday. And creativity for using up all of the gardens abundant supply of vegetables and fruits is a necessity.

Fresh garden food is the best flavor you can get. Picking fruit and vegetables at it’s peak yields a delicious and satisfying taste. Maybe garden food tastes better because of that. Or maybe it’s because of the work that you’ve put into making and growing your own personal produce from a seed or small plant. Garden food just tastes delicious, and any meal you make with it just is better tasting.

This meal is no exception. I’ve mixed several of some of our summer’s vegetables to make this delicious soup. The kids loved it, but thought it was slightly spicy. If you have kids that don’t like spicy food, substitute the Italian turkey for regular turkey meatballs.

Other substitutions: Vegetarian: use vegetarian parmesan, and substitute the meatballs for vegetables like squash and zucchini. Gluten Free: Substitute the regular noodles for gluten free noodles.

Ingredients

6 oz whole wheat bowtie pasta, cooked according to package directions and set aside

1 tbsp oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice (or 3 cups fresh tomatoes. I used Roma).

1/4 cup carrot puree

1 1/2 tsp salt

3 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/2 tsp pepper

1 lb spicy low fat Italian turkey or low fat turkey, made into 1 inch meatballs

Directions:

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside for later use.

2. Steam or cook carrots for 10 minutes until carrots soften.

3. In a large cooking pot, place 1 tbsp oil, garlic and onion. Saute over medium heat until the onion begins to soften. (Approximately 3-4 minutes).

4. In a blender, place carrots and tomatoes. Blend until pureed and smooth. Place puree mixture in the large pot along with chicken broth and salt. Cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook for approximately 10 minutes.

5. Add the meatballs (or zucchini/squash for vegetarian version) to the pot and cook for approximately 15 minutes more or until the meatballs are no longer pink in the center and/or the vegetables are tender. Stir in the pasta. Scoop pasta and meatballs into a bowl and sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese.

6. Serve and enjoy. Serves 10.

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