February 19, 2013

Pesto Minestrone Soup with Turkey "Meatballs"

All right.  Get ready for it.  Minestrone soup with turkey meatballs, pesto and white wine.  Yes, you heard me right.  I made this soup, or rather  a variation of it, with my mom over the Christmas holidays.  It was absolutely delicious when we made it then...but I must say, it was even BETTER this time around.  Dare I say...the best soup I have ever made? Yes, I dare...  So Mom, make it again and you'll see what I mean!

It's a variation off of the Barefoot Contessa's Winter Minestrone soup, which I posted at Christmas time, but will repost now because it is quite different from the original version.

Pesto Minestrone Soup with Turkey "Meatballs"
inspired by the Barefoot Contessa's Winter Minestrone

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped sweet onion
2 cups diced carrots (~3)
2 cups diced celery (~3)
2 1/2 cups sweet potato/yam
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 tsp dried thyme (2 tsp fresh chopped thyme)
4 italian turkey sausages (cut into 1/2 inch wide pieces)
26 ounce diced tomatoes (partially drained)
6 - 8 cups of vegetable stock (depending on how think you want it.  You can always add more so I'd start with less)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 15 ounce can of cannellini beans/white navy beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 cups chopped spinach
1/2 cup good quality dry white wine (this is key)
3 tbsp basil pesto

1. Heat olive oil over medium high heat, add onion, carrots, celery, sweet potato/yam, garlic, thyme and turkey sausages.  Stirring occasionally, cook until vegetables begin to soften.  
2. Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, bay leaf 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 25-30 minutes or until the veggies are tender and ready to eat.
4. Discard the bay leaf, add the cannellini beans, chopped spinach, white white and pesto.
5.  Cook for another couple of minutes until it is heated through.
6.  Serve and garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese.  

This soup is extremely comforting and satisfying, yet it is extremely healthy.  Because of this, it doesn't leave you feeling heavy.  The turkey meatballs add a wonderful element, as the sausage pieces puff up into small meatball like thingers as they cook.  For those local Victorian's out there, I bought my local turkey sausages from Lifestyle Markets.

If there is ONE thing you ever choose to make on my blog...this should be it.  It's THAT good!  This coming from a lady with very high standards when it comes to food...