Summer Pesto Mini Meatball Soup.
Um how delicious is this summer pesto mini meatball soup?
It’s just the cutest too.
Sure, it’s in the 90s this week and might stay there for the remainder of the month, but nothing can keep me from a comforting bowl of soup.
Am I right?
Summer soup for me usually means chowder (and yes I have another one coming!) but the thought of this pesto-y, brothy bowl sounded amazing right now.
Plus, mini meatballs!
This soup reminds me a little of my homemade spaghettios, and not just because I use the same noodles. While these tiny noodles are the best, I love how simple and flavorful the meal is. I guess it’s sort of like spaghettios, meatballs included, without the tomato sauce?!
Which means I looooove it.
I made a mini chicken meatball soup years ago and it’s still a really popular recipe here on the site. Of course, you can make these meatballs any size you’d like, but making them tiny means they are spoonable and therefore, makes the entire bowl more enjoyable.
It’s a whole meal in a bowl, but soup!
Here’s the deal with the pesto!
I’m including a smaller batch pesto recipe below, but you could totally use a good jarred pesto if you have one that you enjoy. This is also a recipe that you can make when you have leftover pesto, or pesto frozen from earlier in the year. As long as you’re using a pesto that you like, it will work in the soup.
The pesto works in magic ways: we’re using it to flavor the meatballs (which is incredible!) and then we’re also stirring it into the soup. Then, you can even finish off the soup with a big dollop of it on top.
It’s the BEST way to enjoy pesto. Loaded with flavor!
The soup comes together pretty quickly too. You can make the pesto and even the meatballs ahead of time if you wish. You can even make a batch of meatballs and freeze them! It’s a great freezer prep meal that just requires a bit of defrosting before cooking.
And it’s ridiculously comforting, without being heavy.
Hello dinner tonight!
Pesto Mini Meatball Soup
- 1 cup packed fresh basil
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 2 garlic cloves
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground chicken or turkey
- ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs, panko or fine crumbs both work
- 3 tablespoons pesto
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot diced
- 8 cups chicken stock or broth, low sodium is fine - you may want a pinch more salt
- 12 ounces tiny cut pasta, like ditalini or annellini
- fresh basil, for topping
- shaved parmesan, for topping
- Place the basil, parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, red peppers flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper in the bowl of your food processor or blender. Pulse until small pieces remain. Blend while streaming in the olive oil until combined. You can store extras of this in the fridge for about a week.
- In a bowl, combine the chicken/turkey with the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, pesto and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until just combined the form the mixture into mini meatballs. (Or large! Whatever you prefer!)
- Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the meatballs in a single later, browning on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove the meatballs from the pan and place them on a plate.
- Keep the pot over medium heat and add the remaining olive oil. Stir in the shallot with a pinch of salt and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the meatballs back to the pot. Add in the broth.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir in the pasta. Cook, uncovered and stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Once the pasta is cooked, stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons of the pesto. (Note: the soup is not a pretty color!) Ladle the soup into bowls and the stir in more pesto on a bowl-by-bowl basis, however much you want. Garnish with shaved parmesan and extra fresh basil and serve!
Garlic bread on the side please!