Green Minestrone And Lime Arugula Meatballs


Minestrone made with green beans, peas, and zucchini tastes crisp and fresh, but it’s still a soup that should warm the soul, so I’m adding tiny meatballs, refined with arugula and lime, for that cozy, hearty feeling. It’s the German in me. I can’t help it.


  • 14 ounces (400g) ground beef
  • large cloves garlic, crushed, plus 1 large clove garlic, cut in half
  • 2 ounces ounces (60g) arugula leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) freshly grated lime zest
  • Fine sea salt
  • Finely ground pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound (340g) trimmed mixed green vegetables (such as green beans, frozen peas, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or kale, cut into bite-size pieces if necessary)
  • 1/4 cups (1 liter) homemade or quality store-bought vegetable broth, hot
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • bay leaf
  • spring onion (green part only), thinly sliced
  1. Combine the ground beef, crushed garlic, arugula, lime zest, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a generous amount of pepper in a large bowl and mix with your hands until well combined. Form the mixture into 38 roughly 1-inch (2.5 cm) meatballs.
  2. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add a little more oil and the vegetables and sauté, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the hot vegetable broth, lime juice, and bay leaf, season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently for 4 to 6 minutes or until the meatballs are just cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional lime juice.
  3. Divide the soup among deep bowls, sprinkle with the spring onion, and serve immediately.

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