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Meatball Soup

Pietro's

Yield: 10 servings (about 14 cups)

For meatballs:

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

6 tablespoons minced onion

1 1/2 teaspoons minced roasted garlic

3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes

6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

About 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs

For soup:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced zucchini

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 1/4 cups tomato sauce

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary

Salt

Ground black pepper

8 cups beef stock or broth

1 cup uncooked orzo pasta

Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

To prepare meatballs: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine beef, onion, garlic, tomatoes and Parmesan; mix thoroughly. Add just enough bread crumbs to bind the mixture. Shape into 72 meatballs; place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until cooked through.

To prepare soup: Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and zucchini; sauté until beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, sugar, basil, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste and broth. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Add cooked meatballs; simmer for 40 minutes.

Add orzo; cook 7 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.

Per serving: 278 calories; 10g fat (32 percent calories from fat); 3g saturated fat; 42mg cholesterol; 22g protein; 25g carbohydrate; 8g sugar; 3g fiber; 510mg sodium; 99mg calcium; 647mg potassium.