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Recipe of the Month: Minestrone with Rosemary Chicken Meatballs

Technically, we have left soup weather, but I can’t resist this gorgeous dish, which is really more of a cross between a soup and stew anyway. I remember being in Italy years ago and digging into a steaming bowl of minestrone, overflowing with seasonal vegies. Every time I found a meatball it was like I’d struck gold – a little nugget of rich flavour. I can still taste the rosemary. So soup weather or not, this dish is a must. It takes next to no time to make and you can even swap the chicken meatballs for lamb or beef – it’s equally tasty and will just need some extra cooking time. Serve with a local merlot and tell summer to wait its turn.

To serve 4, you need: 1 medium brown onion
2 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
300g canned diced tomatoes
1 litre chicken stock
1 tbsp caster sugar
40g (½ cup) parmesan cheese, finely grates
1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
For the rosemary chicken meatballs:
1 clove of garlic
500g minced chicken
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  1. Peel and roughly chop the onion and carrots, and crush the garlic. Trim and roughly chop the celery. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook these with the rosemary. Stir until the vegetables have softened.
  2. Add the undrained tomatoes, stock and sugar. Bring the mixture the boil.
  3. Next the meatballs – peel and crush the garlic and combine with the chicken, rosemary and garlic in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Measure level tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls.
  4. Add the meatballs to the mixture, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Add extra seasoning if you want, sprinkle with cheese and basil to serve. Yum!
Do you have a favouritequick dinner recipe? We’d love to hear it!