Yield: 10 servings (about 14 cups)
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
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
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.