Tomato and Zucchini Soup with Sausage Meatballs

August 21, 2015

Author Notes: When my children were small we had a heck of a time getting them to eat vegetables. We played little games: "please eat 14 peas", "you must try 2 monster fingers(asparagus)" and "a few of these little trees (broccoli florets) are really good". I resorted to sneaking vegetables into everything I could think of..the most popular being grating onion and zucchini into spaghetti sauce. So this soup is a reflection of those may not see zucchini, but it's there!inpatskitchen

Makes: 4 to 5 quarts


For the meatballs

  • 20 ounces sweet fennel Italian sausage, casings removed if not bulk
  • 1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1 cup zucchini which has been grated on the large holes of a box grater (include peel)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the soup

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 4 cups grated zucchini ( again use the large holes of a box grater)
  • 2 cloves grated garlic (I use a microplane)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 28 ounces canned San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • The reserved meatballs
  • 2 cups small shell dry pasta
  • Grated parmesan for serving (optional)
In This Recipe


For the meatballs

  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly and shape into one inch meatballs. Place them on a sprayed rimmed baking sheet and bake them in a 350F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and drain on paper toweling. Reserve.

For the soup

  1. Warm the oil in a nice size soup pot. Add the grated onion, zucchini and garlic and sauté until everything softens up nicely (about 5 minutes).
  2. Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add them to the pot along with the pesto. Bring up to a simmer and add the chicken broth.
  3. Simmer the mixture for about ten minutes and add the meatballs.
  4. While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta shells per package instructions. Drain and add to the soup. Bring the pot up to a simmer before serving. Garnish each bowl with a little Parmesan if desired.

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