Italian Meatball Soup with Spinach

It may seem like a lot of work to make a two-part recipe on a weeknight but this recipe is not heavy on the busy work.

Recipe courtesy of Christina from Strawberries for Supper.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 45 mins.

Ingredients

450 g lean ground beef
200 g cremini mushrooms, finely minced
¼ cup grated Parmesan
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt and pepper
900 ml low sodium beef broth
540 ml can stewed tomatoes with Italian seasoning (or diced tomatoes)
2 cups fresh baby spinach

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
2. To make the meatballs, start by finely mincing the mushrooms using a food processor with the blade attachment.
3. Combine the finely minced mushrooms with the ground beef, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
4. Mince the onion and garlic, also using the food processor and add 1 tablespoon of that mixture to the meatball mixture.
5. Line a cookie sheet with foil and shape tablespoon and a half size meatballs with your hands or a cookie scoop and place them on the cookie sheet. Bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until brown and release from the foil easily when you try to lift them off with a spatula.
6. While the meatballs cook in the oven, add the olive oil to a large saucepan over a medium heat and sautee the minced onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper.
7. When that has softened, after about 4-5 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar, beef broth, and stewed tomatoes. Break the tomatoes up using the spoon so that they are bite-sized pieces.
8. Put the lid on the pot and let it simmer while the meatballs cook in the oven.
9. When the meatballs are cooked, transfer them to the pot and stir gently. Let them simmer together for 10 minutes.
10. Just before serving, add the two cups of fresh baby spinach. If you like, serve with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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Roasted Garlic, Mushroom and White Bean Stew

This stew is a favourite Sunday meal because it isn’t a dish that cooks up in 20 minutes, it’s a little bit more time consuming, but it also makes a pretty big batch which means you can bring leftovers for lunches throughout the week.

Recipe and photo by Louisa of Living Lou

Prep Time: 30 mins. | Cook Time: 35 mins.

Ingredients

1 head of garlic
7 tsp olive oil, divided
½ tsp salt, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 lbs (907g) white button mushrooms, quartered
½ cup white wine
2 19-oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 900mL carton of vegetable broth (4 cups)
2 springs rosemary

 

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Slice the top off the head of garlic (keeping the root intact), drizzle with 1 tsp of olive oil and sprinkle with ¼ tsp of salt. Wrap in foil and roast for 30 minutes, carefully remove from oven and let cool completely.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium heat. Add remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add onion, cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Add carrots and cook another 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and remaining salt, cook, stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes. Add white wine, cook another minute, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add white beans, vegetable broth and rosemary, squeeze roasted garlic directly into the pot (be careful not to include any of the peel).
3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes. Beans will begin to break down, but to help thicken the stew, press the beans against the side of the pot using a wooden spoon. Remove rosemary stems and serve.

 

Mushroom Soup Gratinée

What a better way to warm up and stay cozy than having a delicious broth of vegetables simmering on the back burner. This mushroom soup is a bit of a twist on the classic French Onion.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins. | Serves: 6

Ingredients

3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 red onion, diced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (.5 oz/14 g) package dried porcini mushrooms
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup red wine
6 slices sourdough bread at least 3 inches in diameter
1 cup shredded Gruyére

Method

1. Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add the diced onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they are translucent.
3. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms and continue cooking for another 8 minutes or so, until the mushrooms have softened.
4. Stir in the mustard, thyme, salt, pepper and cook another minute. Stir in the stock and wine. Bring to a boil, cover and turn the heat to medium-low.
5. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
6. Place the bread on a baking sheet and divide the cheese among the slices.
7. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and toast until the croutons are golden brown.
8. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with a cheesy crouton.

Mushroom Soup Au Gratin

This looks like French onion soup but has the rich mushroom flavour instead of onion. It is almost a meal itself so just add a salad and dinner is ready.

Prep Time: 12 mins. | Cook Time: 25 mins. | Serves: 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
12 oz sliced assorted fresh mushrooms (white, crimini, portabella, shiitake, oyster)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp Each ground nutmeg and pepper
4 slices French bread (1/2″/2.5 cm thick) toasted
4 oz grated or sliced Swiss cheese
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Method

1. In a large heavy saucepan heat oil over medium high heat; sauté mushrooms, onions and garlic about 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add chicken broth, lemon rind, nutmeg and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Ladle soup into 4 deep ovenproof bowls. Float bread on top; sprinkle with Swiss cheese and Parmesan if using. Place under broiler until bubbly and lightly browned.

Variation
Add ½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine with the chicken broth.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Subtle herbs compliment the rich and creamy mushroom flavour in this fall soup. The perfect starter for a dinner party. Serve with a crusty roll or baguette for dipping.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins. | Serves: 8

Ingredients

2 tbsp butter
2 lb. fresh Mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 cup flour
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup 5% table cream
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp minced parsley (optional)

Method

1. In large heavy soup pot, melt butter over medium heat; sauté mushrooms for 5-6 minutes or until most of the moisture from mushrooms has evaporated; sprinkle flour over mushrooms and cook 1 minute.
2. Slowly stir in broth; bring to boil, stirring constantly.
3. Add Italian seasoning, bay leaf and green onions; reduce heat and cover.
4. Simmer 15- 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
5. In small bowl whisk egg yolks with cream; stir 1cup (250 mL) hot broth into cream mixture and then return all to saucepan. Heat over low heat until hot, about 5 minutes, do not allow to boil.
6. Using a hand blender (or food processor), blend soup until it has reached the desired consistency. Add 2 tbsp of water if soup is too thick. Add pepper to taste.
7. Serve sprinkled with parsley, if desired.

Note: If table cream is substituted and allowed to boil it will curdle

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