Mediterranean Veggie Burgers with Lemon Caper Mayo

Veggie burgers with cannellini beans, roasted red peppers, green olives, artichokes, feta cheese and fresh herbs with a bright-as-sunshine lemon caper mayo.

I’ve been making a lot of veggie burgers lately. I’m going through a phase.… 

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White Bean Veggie Burgers

I am all about alternative burgers lately! I have a big stack of recipes waiting in the wings, some to be posted and others itching to be made. By alternative burgers I mean fish, vegetables and beans. No beef allowed.

Not that I have anything against beef, I love a traditional burger just as much as a veggie bean burger. I’m just looking for variety. I get bored eating the same things over and over. I need  options. We all  do. To spice up our lives…. 

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Mini Meatball and Ravioli Soup

Mini Meatball and Ravioli Soup

Everything about this soup is mini, except the flavor! Packed with mini meatballs and bite-size cheese ravioli that are the perfect size for your soup spoon, it’s brimming with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onion, and fresh spinach. It’s stick-to-your ribs, hearty, warming and filling. A soup that eats like a meal.

The soup comes together fairly quickly and doesn’t take long to cook. The meatballs have the most delicious flavor, tender but sturdy enough to hold up to the soup and cooked to the point where they want to fall apart but don’t. The next time you’re craving meatballs and pasta maybe you’ll consider something a little different, a change from the norm that’s every bit as delicious and satisfying.

Mini Meatball and Ravioli Soup

Mini Meatball and Ravioli Soup
(by Reeni)
Soup:
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 roasted red pepper or green bell pepper, diced
olive oil, for sauteing
sea salt and fresh black pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth (4 + 1/2 cups)
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
14 ounces bite size cheese ravioli
3 cups fresh Spinach leaves, rough chopped
Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated for serving
Meatballs:
1 + 1/4 pound ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

1. In a large soup pot saute the onion and bell pepper in 2-3 tablespoons olive oil until soft and tender, over medium low heat seasoning well with salt and pepper. Add the garlic, saute until fragrant. Add the bay leaf, Italian seasoning, thyme, chicken broth, tomatoes and season well with salt and pepper. Bring slowly up to a simmer. In the meantime make the meatballs.

2. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Form into 1-inch meatballs.

3. Once the soup is boiling carefully drop the meatballs into the pot. Bring back up to a slow simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Taste and season again with salt and pepper or Italian seasoning if needed.

4. Cook ravioli separately according to package directions. Add spinach to soup and cook for 10 minutes or until spinach is wilted. You can mix the ravioli into the soup or serve by spooning a few ravioli into each bowl and spooning soup over top. Remove bay leaf before serving with plenty of grated cheese.


Mini Meatball and Ravioli Soup

I’m sending this to Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for Souper (Soup, Salad and Sammie) Sundays!

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Italian-style Green Bean Casserole

for mushroom haters

My family has never embraced the tradition of eating that infamous green bean and mushroom soup casserole that is so popular on Thanksgiving. Mushrooms are a no-no for most of them and I vowed that canned soup, in any shape or form, would never cross my lips again. Ever. So this year I took it upon myself to start a new tradition and build a green bean casserole from scratch with flavors that everyone would love…. 

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Spaghetti Squash and Mini Meatball Soup with Roasted Red Peppers

Spaghetti Squash and Mini Meatball Soup

No matter how often I cook spaghetti squash it never fails to impress me. Pulling my fork through the golden sunshine colored flesh and watching it turn into spaghetti strands makes me feel like I can do anything. It’s nothing short of a magic trick to split open a squash and find spaghetti inside! Who knew you could grow spaghetti on a vine? It’s one of natures miracles. One I’m very grateful for because I could eat it every day of my life and never grow tired of it.

There is one way I don’t like it and that’s when it’s treated like traditional spaghetti and smothered in tomato sauce. Because the resemblance to spaghetti is about as far as it goes. It differs in texture and flavor. While some spaghetti squash are very bland you may find others have a hint of lemon flavor to them. Depending on how well done their cooked, the strands can have a bit of crispness that pops between your teeth, not at all like the soft, chewiness of spaghetti.

The broth is drenched with the flavor of aromatics including onion, garlic, roasted red and green bell peppers. It is the perfect backdrop for the tender little orbs of mini meatball deliciousness and the squash spaghetti which makes up the bulk of the soup by adding great body and texture. My father was quite impressed with the entire concept and summed things up best when he asked “Who else do you know that is making spaghetti squash and meatball soup?” A quick Google search turned up nothing, making it a truly unique original that I hope I’ve inspired you to try!

Spaghetti Squash and Mini Meatball Soup

Spaghetti Squash and Mini Meatball Soup
(by Reeni)
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, sliced thin in 1/2-inch long pieces
olive oil, for sauteing
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 roasted red pepper, sliced thin in 1/2-inch long pieces
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1 + 1/4 pounds ground beef or turkey
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 cups chicken broth
Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated, for serving

1. Roast the spaghetti squash on 400 degrees F. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and place it face down in a baking pan. Add about an inch of water to the pan. A medium-sized spaghetti squash will take 35 – 40 minutes. It will be fork-tender when done and the skin will ‘wrinkle’ up.

2. In a large soup pot or sauce pan saute onion and green pepper in a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until onion is translucent and pepper is tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add roasted red pepper, thyme and the bay leaf. Season well with salt and pepper and continue sauteing for 3-4 minutes.

3. Meanwhile make the meatballs. In a large bowl using a fork combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire, Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Form them into tiny meatballs about 1-inch in size and place on a plate.

4. Turn the squash into spaghetti by using a fork to pull the strands apart. Add to the pot along with the chicken broth. Bring to a slow boil then carefully add the meatballs one by one. Season with additional salt and pepper. Simmer slowly for 25 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Taste and season again if needed. Serve with Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

Spaghetti Squash and Mini Meatball Soup

Don’t forget to link up your Thanksgiving side dishes for the Showdown!

I’m sending this to my lovely friend Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays round-up!

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