White Bean, Spinach and Pasta Soup with Meatballs

Ingredients

2 c. diced celery

1 c. diced onions

1 c. diced carrots

¼ c. olive oil

1 c. chopped spinach

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 quarts chicken stock

3 cans cannellini beans

2 c. Orzo pasta

1 T. oregano

1 T. thyme

1 lb. ground beef

1 egg

2 c. grated parmesan cheese

1 T. Italian seasoning

1 T. olive oil

Directions:

In a large stockpot, sauté celery, onions and carrots in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add spinach and garlic and stir until spinach is wilted. Add chicken stock, beans, pasta, oregano and thyme.  Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer and prepare the meatballs.

Mix ground beef, egg, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning in a bowl.  Shape into bite-sized (one inch diameter) meatballs. Brown meatballs in 1 T. olive oil in a skillet and transfer to stockpot.  Serves 6.

Note:  To make this recipe vegetarian, use vegetable stock, frozen vegetarian meatballs, thawed and cut in half, and to make it gluten free, use GF orzo or rice.

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