Is it too soon to start the soup season? Not for us — not when there are meatballs involved. We made these beauties with Gelson’s 80/20 ground beef, which we grind fresh, throughout the day, using the trim from cuts of Certified Angus Beef®. It’s super fresh, and rolled up with a little Parm, parsley, and oregano, it makes tender, flavorsome meatballs.
Here, we float the meatballs in a weeknight-easy broth that’s made with stewed canned tomatoes and vegetable stock, everyone’s favorite pantry staples. There are a handful of veggies and aromatics in there too, and they give the soup a light, fresh vibe that feels just right for early fall. The recipe calls for carrots and bell peppers, but feel free to use whatever you have — zucchini or even a kale bunch would be nice.
Between the meatballs and the pasta shells, this is definitely a soup that eats like a meal, but if you want to round it out, a bright green salad and a hunk of buttered bread will be perfect.
To make the meatballs: Preheat the oven to broil. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, garlic, egg, Parmesan, bread crumbs, dried oregano, ground paprika, parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Using your hands, mix until just incorporated, being careful not to overmix.
Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Roll the meat into 1 ½-inch balls (you should have about 16 to 20 meatballs) and place them on the baking sheet. Broil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the meatballs are well browned. Set aside.
To make the soup: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, green bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until softened.
Add the vegetable broth and whole peeled tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Stir in the oregano and paprika, then season with salt and black pepper.
Add the broiled meatballs to the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Add the pasta shells and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the parsley, and serve hot. Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Recipe source: The Mediterranean Dish