This veggie-packed meatball soup is technically for kids, but you’ll be tempted to sneak a bowl for yourself. “There is no age restriction on good taste, even if it comes in the form of a UFO-shaped noodle,” says Samara Foisy, registered dietitian for President’s Choice. “This is one of my favourite recipes since the pasta is also high in fibre and a source of protein.”
Passata, a simple tomato purée, gives the broth a subtle sweet tomato flavour without being too overwhelming for picky eaters. If you can’t find it, purée one cup of no-salt-added diced tomatoes in a blender or food processor instead. Serve with a side salad for a balanced meal your kids will ask for again and again.
Spinach and Meatball Soup with Outer Space Pasta
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
• 2 tsp olive oil
• 1 leek (white and light green parts only), chopped
• 1 carrot, diced
• 1 stalk celery, diced
• 1 zucchini, diced
• 1 900 ml package no-salt-added beef broth
• 1 cup bottled strained tomatoes (passata)
• 1 cup President’s Choice Blue Menu Outer Space Pasta
• 24 frozen low-fat meatballs
• 1 cup packed baby spinach, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek, carrot, celery and zucchini. Cook while stirring occasionally until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
2. Add broth and passata; bring to a boil. Add pasta; stir occasionally until liquid returns to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook 5 minutes.
3. Stir in frozen meatballs; return to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are heated through and pasta is tender but firm; about 7 to 9 minutes.
4. Stir in spinach, salt and pepper; cook until spinach is wilted, about one minute.
Chef’s tip: Substitute a quarter cup frozen chopped spinach for fresh spinach, if that’s what you have on hand.