Mini Meatball Minestrone from Sunday Suppers: Simple, Delicious Menus for Family Gatherings

A media copy of Sunday Suppers was received for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own.  Recipes are reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY

In the South, relaxing Sunday afternoons regularly drift into laid-back, informal Sunday suppers. These evening gatherings are sometimes a full meal, sometimes a soup and sandwich, but they are always all about family.

Sunday Suppers: Simple, Delicious Menus for Family Gatherings (Oxmoor House, November 7, 2017, $27.99) by James Beard Award-winning author Cynthia Graubart is new full-color cookbook that will revitalize the iconic Southern Sunday meal, inspired by suppers of the past and present.

Sunday Suppers

Whether the plan is a small family gathering, a feast for a crowd, or a summer afternoon cookout, readers will find 52 inspired menus with classic Southern flair for a year of Sunday suppers.  This cookbook made me drool just paging through it!  The hard part was choosing my first recipe from the oh-so-delicious selections.

I love hosting Sunday suppers in my home, but one of the things I struggle with is putting together a menu from start to finish.  I can cook up a storm, but knowing what appetizers or drinks go well with the main dish and/or dessert, that often leaves me stumped.

That’s where Sunday Suppers shines.  Organized into five distinct chapters, it puts together a selection of recipes from start to finish for any kind of occasion your Sunday supper may be for.  Company calling?  There are menus for that.  Want something lighter for supper?  There are menus for that too (you get the idea!).  

I’ve made a few of the recipes from the book already, one of them being a Baked Ziti with Sausage Casserole. It was as the book promised, mouthwateringly good.  There’s one thing about Southern cooking, if you have a menu to follow even if you’re not a pro, you won’t walk away from the table disappointed…or hungry 😉  

Woven throughout the book are little excerpts of Sundays Past & Present with featured culinary Southerners.  They are interesting to read and will have you reflecting on your own Sundays past and present.

One other neat thing are etiquette tips that appear in side boxes in the book.  Southerners take their etiquette seriously y’all!  Being relatively new to the South myself, some of these got a sticky note on the page so I can refer to them in the future 😉

Whether you follow the menus or pull recipes to create you own, you’ll see Sunday Suppers is a cookbook that will become a diary of family meals and fond memories.

Want a sneak peek of the kind of goodness you might find in Sunday Suppers?  Then try out this Mini Meatball Minestrone recipe they are kindly letting me re-print on my blog for you to make.

Meatball Minestrone

Excerpted from Sunday Suppers by Cynthia Graubart. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Mini Meatball Minestrone
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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.
Serves: 8
  • 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.

If you know of someone who enjoys making Sunday suppers, loves Southern Food or just likes a new cookbook on the shelf to experiment with, Sunday Suppers would make a great gift for the holidays.

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