Rachel Ray and Emeril Lagasse have simple and easy-to-follow recipes for meatball soup. Both recipes start with fresh meatballs, but finish with different soup bases.
To make Rachel's Ray recipe, add to a pot 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery ribs, 1 chopped onion and 2 bay leaves. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes.
In a bowl, combine 1 pound ground beef, 1 egg, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of Parmesan and 1/2 cup of plain bread crumbs. Add salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg. Add 6 cups of broth and 2 cups of water to pot. Bring the liquid to a boil. Roll the meat mixture into small balls, and drop them into the soup. Add 1 1/2 cups dried pasta, and stir the pasta around. Add 1 pound of fresh spinach, and wilt the greens.
To make Emeril Lagasse's recipe, add to a pot 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 cup of chopped onion and 1/4 cup of chopped celery. Cook the vegetables in the oil for three minutes. Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic, and cook for one minute more. Add 14.5 ounces of crushed tomatoes, 2 14-ounce cans beef broth, 2 tablespoons tomato pasta, 1/4 teaspoon Italian Essence and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring everything to a simmer for 15 minutes.
In a bowl, mix 3/4 pound of ground beef, 1/4 pound of ground pork, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup Parmesan and 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. Add 3/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Form the meatballs, and add them to the simmering broth. Add 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Simmer for 20 minutes, and add 1/2 cup of pasta and 3 cups of spinach. Cook everything for 15 minutes until the pasta is cooked.