Money Saving Mondays: Italian Herbed Meatball Soup for Christmas

Italian Herbed Meatball Soup

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Serves 7

1 pound ground beef – $4.49
1/2 pound ground pork -$2.15
1 cup onion, finely chopped – $1.29
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped – $.33
1 1/2 teaspoons instant tapioca – $.09
about 2 teaspoons lemon zest – $.02
1 teaspoons sugar – $.10
1 teaspoons salt $.02
1/2 teaspoons red pepper, crushed $.35
3 tablespoons olive oil – $.23
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth – FREE (homemade and on hand)
3 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped – $.77
3 sprigs parsley, chopped – $.04
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh oregano – $.77
1 1/2 tablespoons parsley – $.04

Total Cost – $11.06
Cost Per Serving – $1.58

Prep Day: Mix the meats, 1/4 cup onion, half of the garlic, tapioca, zest, sugar, salt, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and 1 tablespoon water together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small stockpot over low heat. Add the remaining 3/4 cup onion and 2 garlic cloves and cook until softened, stirring occasionally 5 to 7 minutes. Add the broth, 3 cups water, remaining 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, and the oregano and parsley sprigs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and keep warm. Transfer the meat mixture and the herbs to a food processor and blend just until smooth about 20 seconds. Shape into 1-inch meatballs and set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs 12 at a time until browned. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the meatballs and continue to simmer until meatballs are cooked through about 3 minutes. Serve hot or cool to freeze.

Serve Day: Thaw and reheat.

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