It’s still spring guys! Yeah, yeah, you know that already. But I mean, the weather around here can’t make up its mind. The weather thinks it’s either the middle of summer or still February here… come on man. It’s spring and ALMOST summer.
Anyways, enough of being so boring I’m literally talking about the weather….
Tell me! Is it wrong to make soup in the spring? I know its more of a winter/fall thing, but I love soup. Always. So, hey, let’s make some soup!
Instead of my hearty kale kielbasa soup or dense chili, I packed this one with as many spring vegetables as possible. I’m talking leeks, peas, asparagus, carrots– all the good stuff that’s freshest in the spring.
Minestrone is an Italian soup that often contains beans, tomatoes, carrots, onion and celery along with pasta or rice sometimes. Other than that, you have a lot of leeway with minestrone soup, but don’t kill me if I’m not authentic, you Italian cooks out there. Whatever vegetables are in season are what is typically used, which is my favorite way to cook!
Hence, today’s recipe and the abundance of spring veggies we’re using.
I’m also adding in some mini-chicken meatballs to the mix, but feel free to make this vegetarian if you’d like. You can also leave out the pasta for a lower carb version!
For the Meatballs:
- 16 ounces ground chicken
- 6 tbs grated parmesan
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
For the Soup:
- 1 leek, sliced in quarter inch rounds
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1.5 cups asparagus, chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 8 ounces small pasta shells (about 1/2 a box)
- 1.5 cups peas
- 2 cups spinach
- 4 tbs grated parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients for the meatballs and form mini-meatballs, about 1/2 inch size balls.
- Heat oil in pan and brown meatballs for 2 minutes. Flip meatballs and brown for 2 more minutes. They will finish cooking in the soup.
- Heat oil in large soup pot. Saute leeks and onions until soft.
- Add celery, garlic, and a dash of salt and pepper.
- After a few minutes, add in the carrots and asparagus. Let cook for a 2-4 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes, water, and broth. Bring liquids to a boil.
- Pour pasta into pot and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
- Add the meatballs and peas, allowing to cook for about 4 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
- Stir in spinach and parmesan, allowing the spinach to wilt.
- Finish with a dash of salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
My husband was OBSESSED with the meatballs! So excited to have a new meatball to make for the fam. Me, my son and even my mom, were more into the flavorful soup.