Mini Meatball Minestrone
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 8
This minestrone is a colorful crowd-pleaser, and it’s only one hour from start to finish. If your family has never tried parsnips, this is the recipe to introduce them. The parsnips as they are chopped into bite-size pieces and mixed with other ingredients. The watermelon salad is not your mother’s fruit salad. A cold, thick, steak-like slice of ripe watermelon pairs unexpectedly well with salty Cotija cheese and a smoky vinaigrette. Plan ahead to prepare the foolproof Peanut Butter-Banana Cream Pie so the crust and custard can meld in the refrigerator for 4 to 48 hours before topping with cream. The minestrone can be made up to a day ahead and reheated. Assemble salad just before serving.
  • Soup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 3⁄4 cup (1⁄2-inch) sliced carrot
  • 3⁄4 cup (1⁄2-inch) sliced celery
  • 3⁄4 cup (1⁄2-inch) cubed parsnip
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chopped Swiss chard
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (32-ounce) container beef broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
  • Mini meatballs
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Additional Ingredients
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 ounce grated fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. To prepare soup, heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion and next 4 ingredients; sauté 6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add chard; sauté 1 minute or until wilted. Stir in wine and next 4 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  2. To prepare meatballs, combine turkey and next 6 ingredients in a bowl. Shape meat mixture by tablespoonfuls into 30 meatballs. Add meatballs and chickpeas to soup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and cook 12 minutes or until meatballs are done. Remove from heat; stir in 1⁄4 cup basil.
  3. Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Recipe by Three Different Directions at