We got a new BBQ grill over the weekend and we were dying to make something quick to inaugurate it. Grilled sandwiches were the easiest option and we wanted to have a Veggie Meatball sub in quite some time. So we ran to a local whole foods store to see if I could grab a packet of Vegetarian Meatballs – we got lucky, we found Vegan meatballs instead! The sandwiches turned out great. We were hesitant about the soy-based meatballs, but their flavor was amazing, and drenched with mozarella cheese, avocado, gravy and some greens, the sandwiches were gone in no time! But today’s story is not about the sandwiches, its about the Meatballs!
I still had quite a few meatballs left over, so I hunted for a recipe to use them. That’s when I found this very simple yet flavorful Italian Soup recipe. If you are following Food Network Star, you’ll find this is similar to what Suzie, one of the Italian contestants, made last week for a Food Truck campaign. It is a very hearty soup with a light, aromatic broth, accentuated by the Veggie meatballs. Apparently, this soup is served at Italian weddings, and you can find Giada’s recipe for the Italian Wedding Soup on the FN website too. I loved the Whole Foods version as its more veggie-friendly. I urge you to try it, and tell me what you think.
Note: You can even make the Vegetarian meatballs at home, if you like. Here is the recipe, if you need it.
Italian Soup with Vegan Meatballs
1 (15-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes with garlic, oregano and basil*
6 cups vegetable broth or water
4 ounces elbow pasta
1 (16-ounce) package Whole Foods vegan meatballs (recipe here)
3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
Sea salt and ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Bring the tomatoes and broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add pasta, meatballs, spinach and Italian seasoning and cook until the pasta is tender and meatballs are cooked through, about 8-10 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and serve. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on the top right before serving.
This is a very light yet hearty soup. Serve it with some Goat Cheese & Thyme Bruschetta for a lovely Italian appetizer course.