Italian Lentil Soup With Meatballs

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With a single day of cool breezes summer was blown away and autumn took it’s place. Alex has laughed at me since we were dating about my love and over-anticipation that comes with each change of season. But in all honesty, fall is my favorite….or spring…no, it’s fall for sure. Oh, but the first snow of winter is magical…or sunny days of summer…okay I love them all!

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I made some yummy Italian Lentil Soup one night when the cool evening breeze was blowy through the open windows. It was one of our meat free/vegan meals and it was so yummy and filling. Luckily, I made plenty and we had extras. So a couple night later as a cold rain fell I made meatballs and added to the left over soup for a hearty meal. I love stretching meals and giving leftovers double duty. It’s so economical and time saving, but even better than that, the flavors have all marinated and it seems to taste better on round two! Bonus!

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Italian Lentil Soup With Meatballs
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
This dinner can work double duty - one night it's a vegan stew and another it's full of hearty meatballs. Either way it's gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and so delicious!
Ingredients
Italian Lentil Soup
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed and boiled in 3 cups water for 20 minutes or until softened
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1.5 cup fresh or frozen green beans
  • 2 - 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed or 2 tsp. dried
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped or 2 tsp. dried
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • pinch red pepper flakes (opt.)
Meatballs
  • 1.5 lbs. organic ground beef
  • ⅓ cup nut flour (almond flour or ground sunflower seeds)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ⅛ tsp. black pepper
  • 5 basil leaves, roughly chopped or 2 tsp. dried
  • 1 tbsp. stock
Instructions
Soup
  1. In a sauce pan add water and lentils, bring to a boil, reduce to medium heat, cover and allow to bubble until lentils are softened. (A small rice cooker works really well too.)
  2. In a large pot heat olive oil, add garlic and onions. Saute until the onions begin to soften and become translucent. Add the carrots, celery, and a little salt and pepper. Once the vegetables are softened pour in the tomatoes, stock, green beans, and herbs. Simmer on low. Add the softened lentils. Salt and pepper to taste.
Meatballs
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs one at a time, stirring and working together as you go. Roll into balls and place in a muffin tin. Aluminum muffin cups work best to line it with. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.

 


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