Vegetarian Italian Wedding Soup

Vegetarian Italian Wedding Soup

This is one of our favourite winter staples. I always do at least a double batch, but separate the batch into two pots right after the pasta goes in, but before adding the neatballs. That way, you can add them for the required cooking time after the soup has been re-heated, so they don’t go mushy and fall apart after defrosting the soup.
1 pkg vegetarian meatballs (we like the PC brand) or 1 batch home made vegetarian meatballs
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4.5 tsp olive oil
3.5 cups vegetable stock, or 3.5 cups water and 3-4 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 pack frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup minced fresh basil (or frozen)
1 pkg onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon fresh or frozen thyme, or use dried in a pinch
3 bay leaves
1.5 cups ditalini pasta (tiny dots)
In a large pot, saute carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in broth, spinach, basil, soup mix, thyme, and bay leaves.
Bring soup to a boil; reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add pasta, cook 13-15 minutes longer; add neatballs for the required cooking time according to the package or recipe directions anytime after adding the pasta. Leave in bay leaves to see who is the ‘winner!’

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