Total Time: 50 mins

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Yield: 6 servings

Equipment: soup bowls & mugs



  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • ½ cup fresh bread crumbs*
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper



  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups carrots, diced
  • ¼ cup onions, diced
  • ¾ cup celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10-12 cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup acini de pepe or orzo pasta
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • freshly shredded parmesan, for serving


    1. For meatballs: Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and gently toss with your hands until mixed. Form into 1-inch balls.
    2. In a heavy bottom skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté meatballs until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels.
    3. For soup: While meatballs are browning, heat olive oil in a large soup pot.Add carrots, onion, and celery and sauté until veggies are tender, 8-10 minutes.
    4. Add garlic and continue to sauté for an additional minute. Add meatballs.
    5. Pour in chicken broth, bring to boil then reduce to simmer. Cook until pasta is tender and meatballs have cooked through, about 15 minutes.
    6. Stir in spinach in last few minutes of cooking. Serve with parmesan cheese.


    Tara's Tip: Fresh bread crumbs can be made with a slice or two of Italian bread in a food processor.

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