Spinach Meatball Market Minestrone (aka “ski” soup) | CUESA

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Returns March 17, 2022

Spinach Meatball Market Minestrone (aka “ski” soup)


Steve MacCarthy, Prather Ranch

This recipe was submitted as part of CUESA’s 2010 Soup Festival.  

Serves 8


2 pounds Prather Ranch ground beef
1 ¼ cup fresh dried breadcrumbs
1 egg
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained, (or fresh)
¾ teaspoon salt (smoked chili salt is nice)
½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano (more if fresh)
Lard, bacon fat, olive oil or other non-hydrogenated oil of your choice.
1 whole onion, chopped
3 or 4 carrots, halved and sliced
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1 small can whole tomatoes, crushed (or use fresh romas if in season)
4 cans low sodium beef broth (or homemade from Prather bones)
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or dried and soaked market beans if desired and available)
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of oregano
cooked elbow macaroni pasta
grated parmesan


For the meatballs

Mix all meatball ingredients until evenly distributed, then form into small balls and brown in a 350F oven for 15 minutes. You can also brown them in the pan used to make soup.  Drain some of the fat if you feel necessary. (We don’t drain any!) 

For the soup

  1. In a heavy bottom pot lightly cook onion with a little bit of oil. Add the veggies and cook until they are almost tender. 

  2. Add cooked meatballs and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. It is best if left to sit overnight for flavors to blend.
  3. To serve, spoon soup over cooked elbow or other small macaroni…or serve with crusty bread instead. Don’t forget to serve with high quality grated parmesan.



CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »