Summer Vegetable Minestrone with Mini Meatballs (Recipe in Progress)

So I almost totally ruined this recipe by basically forgetting about it in the pressure cooker for an hour (don’t leave pasta in the pressure cooker, people. Also, canned beans). But luckily I was able to salvage it by straining out the overcooked elements, and redoing them and finishing it on the stove. I’ve tried to adjust the recipe to make sure others won’t do the same. My broth is still probably starchier than it should be, but whatever.

My plan was to do all-veal meatballs for this, but the butcher shop was closed and I could only find meatloaf mix at the regular store. These two recipes were inspiration though I followed neither exactly. Since this ended up being so complicated, I’ll probably refine this recipe before making it again (probably not involving the pressure cooker, except for maybe to make the stock), but I wanted to get what I did down on paper on account of the Meatball Challenge.


For the broth:
3 cups water
3 cups chicken broth
3 tomatoes, halved
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, halved
salt and pepper

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground veal or meatloaf mix
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the soup:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 ears corn, removed from cob
2 tbsp basil, chopped
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1/2 cup uncooked ditalini pasta
1 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
pesto, for serving

If you have a pressure cooker, combine broth and set to 10 minutes. Allow to natural release. You could alternately do this on the stove and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, I’m sure, if you don’t have a pressure cooker.

While broth is cooking, combine meatball ingredients and shape into tiny meatballs.

Strain out vegetables except tomato, which you can keep in. Return to pressure cooker – add meatballs back in and cook for another 7 minutes, allowing to come down naturally again.

While this is happening, sautee onions, carrots, zucchini, celery, garlic, and corn in olive oil in a pan for about five minutes, or until soft. Also cook your pasta according to directions and drain (I always like to store rice and pasta separately when making soup for better storage).

When meatballs and broth are done, combine broth with vegetables in a pot on the stove. Stir in kidney beans, spinach, basil and cheese and heat through. Check for seasoning, and add additional chicken broth if the liquid isn’t covering all the components. When serving, add a bit of pasta to each bowl of soup, heat through, and garnish with pesto.



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Filed under meatballs, pressure cooker, soup, Uncategorized

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