I have been wanting  to come up with a new recipe for some time–and I finally did it!

A few months ago, I accidentally on purpose came up with a really good and easy Italian soup base.  It is very simple and versatile.

Here are the ingredients I used:

1 small can tomato sauce

1 can beef broth–low sodium is best, didn’t have any this time

1 tsp Italian seasoning

2 T heavy cream

2 T parmesan cheese–I prefer the sprinkle kind for this

I actually came up with this when I had some leftover lasagna I wanted to repurpose, and it was delicious!  You could probably use it for a nice pasta fagioli as well.

I am sure you could use any type of broth you desire, I happen to love the rich flavor that the beef broth gives it.  As you can see, I don’t always use name brand- usually buy what is on sale- and haven’t seen a problem with that in this recipe. I prefer the low sodium broth, as the parmesan adds some saltiness to this recipe.  If you don’t have it, you can lower the parmesan to 1 tablespoon.

Put the broth, tomato sauce and seasoning in a medium size pot over low to medium heat. Once it is hot, stir in the cream and parmesan.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, to get flavors to come together.

This recipe is easily doubled as well, and you could add additional seasonings if you like. For the amount of ‘meatballs’ this makes, I would recommend doubling it, or just do what I did, and eat the ones that don’t make the cut–or I should say bowl.

I found a zucchini meatball recipe online, but changed it up just a little to make it my own.

For the ‘meatball’ portion of the recipe, here are the ingredients:

3 medium zucchini, grated–or 2 large

1 egg

1/4 c parmesan-finely grated

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 c Panko

2  tsps minced garlic from a jar-or 2 cloves chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Just ignore the extra ingredients in the pic above, I started to make a double batch and decided not to. Begin by grating the zucchini– I just used my handy little chopper for this, worked great!

Once you have all the zucchini grated, wrap it up in a clean towel and squeeze as much water out of it as you can.

Place dry zucchini in mixing bowl along with other ingredients and mix well.  *If you use too much zucchini, the meatballs will not hold together as well and will possibly fall apart while frying.  I also thought of adding a little oil to the mix, as it doesn’t have any like ground beef would, but I didn’t do that this time.  While mixing you might want to add a teaspoon of oil- or possibly two- to hold it together better. Mine were a little loose, so I will use less zucchini next time- or possibly the oil- but they were still very tasty.  Doesn’t need much salt, because of the parmesan.

Form into balls, 1-1 1/2 inches, squeezing them around as tight as you can make them, and saute in pan with olive oil, turning carefully until all sides are brown. These are not dense like regular meatballs, so they require a light hand when turning.

Makes 20-24.

I am thinking of baking them next time to see if I can avoid the frying step altogether,  not sure how they will come out, but I will update if I decide to do it.

Drain on paper towel lined plate for a few minutes.

I forgot to take a pic, but I boiled about 1/4 pound of elbow macaroni while the meatballs were cooking, and drained them.   I am sure any type of noodles would be great!  Or leave them out!

Place some noodles and a few meatballs in a bowl, cover with some soup base and parmesan on top.

This soup was so good!  I plan to make it for a ladies luncheon some day soon.  Would be great with some crusty bread, but I ate mine– both helpings– without it.

I think this would also be yummy with some sausage or ground beef in it, or some added veggies as well, but wanted to make it meatless this time around.

This would make an excellent lunch or dinner with a salad and some Italian or French bread.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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