Rigatoni Meatball Soup

Meatball Ingredients:

β€’ 1 pound ground beef (85/15 ratio, organic if possible)
β€’ 1 French roll (2-3 ounces), processed for 20-30 seconds in food processor for breadcrumbs
β€’ 1 egg, whisked
β€’ 1 teaspoon salt
β€’ 1 teaspoon dried basil
β€’ 1 teaspoon dried oregano
β€’ 1 teaspoon dried parsley
β€’ 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
β€’ 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press (Need a good garlic press? Here’s the link: Rowav Garlic Press)
β€’ 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
β€’ Splash of milk or half & half (about 2 tablespoons)

Soup Ingredients:

β€’ Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
β€’ 1 onion, roughly chopped
β€’ 1 teaspoon dried basil
β€’ 1 teaspoon dried oregano
β€’ 1 teaspoon dried parsley
β€’ Pinch salt
β€’ Pinch black pepper
β€’ Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
β€’ 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
β€’ 2 tablespoons tomato paste
β€’ 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
β€’ 1 (28 ounce/ 793 gram) can organic whole, peeled tomatoes
β€’ 6 cups warm chicken stock (I like Better Than Bouillon to make my stock)
β€’ 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
β€’ 8 ounces uncooked rigatoni, cooked according to package instructions
β€’ Grated mozzarella cheese (about ΒΌ cup per serving, so about 2 cups total)

How to Make It

-Prepare your meatballs by placing your ground beef into a large bowl, and then adding in the remainder of the meatball ingredients; gently mix together just until combined, and using a tablespoon, scoop portions of the mixture and roll between your palms to form meatballs.

-Place a large soup pot (non-stick is ideal, if you have it, you can give this one a try: Calphalon Unison Nonstick 4-Quart Soup Pot with Lid) over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; once the pot is hot, add in the meatballs, working in a couple of batches, if necessary; if you have a non-stick pot, then you can leave your meatballs to brown on that first side, undisturbed, for about 2-3 minutes; if your pot is not non-stick, make sure to move it around vigorously for about 30 seconds when you add in the meatballs so they don’t stick to the bottom before the sear up.

-Once the meatballs are browned on all sides (about 4 minutes total per batch), transfer them to a plate or bowl to hold; then, drizzle in a touch more olive oil (if needed), and add in the chopped onion.

-Saute the onion, scraping up the good bits from the meatballs as much as possible; add in the dried basil, oregano, and parsley, plus a pinch of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if using), and stir for a couple minutes until things soften.

-Add in the garlic and stir that to combine, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and stir to incorporate that in, about 30 seconds or so; add in the red wine to deglaze (if using), and after about 20 seconds, add in the whole tomatoes and the chicken stock.

-Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes; then, using a blender or a hand-held immersion blender (my personal favorite for soup, here’s the link: KitchenAid 3-Speed Hand Blender), puree the soup until smooth.

-Add the meatballs into the soup, and bring it back to a gentle simmer; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes more until the meatballs are tender.

-To serve, add Β½ cup of the cooked rigatoni to a bowl, and ladle in some of the soup (about 1 Β½ cups) along with 4 meatballs; top with about ΒΌ cup grated mozzarella cheese, and either enjoy immediately, or place under the broiler for a minute to melt and slightly brown the cheese.

Enjoy !!!