Italian Meatball Soup

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, washed and diced
8 cups low sodium beef broth
2 cups water
1 (14.5-oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 pound dry Ditalini pasta (or your favorite pasta)
2 Tbsp fresh chopped Italian parsley
2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil

1 pound lean ground beef (80-90% lean)
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning*
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 large egg
pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large 8 quart pot over medium-high heat, warm olive oil.

Meanwhile, chop the carrots and celery. Add them to the warm pot. Cook vegetables for 1-2 minutes.

Add the beef broth, water, tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with hands to combine. Be careful not to over mix or your meatballs will not be tender.

Use a 1 tablespoon scoop to portion, then lightly shape the scoops into meatballs using your hands to roll them. Drop them into the broth, distributing them evenly around the pot. Cover. Allow soup to boil for 5 minutes. Stir meatballs gently, so they do not break apart.

Add pasta. Stir. Cook 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Sprinkle basil and parsley over top, stir and serve.

DONNA'S NOTES: You can substitute this Italian Seasoning recipe:
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried sage

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
Copyright ©2013 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.