2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef, 7% fat
1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten (or 1/4 cup egg substitute)
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
8 oz carrot trinity mix (fresh diced onions, celery, carrots)
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 cans cannellini beans (15-16 oz), drained
1 (32-oz) box unsalted chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1.Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, tomato pesto, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until blended. Shape into 1-inch meatballs (about 25-30); wash hands.
2.Preheat large stockpot on medium-high 2-3 minutes. Place oil in pan, then add meatballs (in batches); cook and turn 6-8 minutes or until browned. Remove meatballs from pan and set aside.
3.Add trinity mix and garlic to pan; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until onions soften. Add spinach; cook 2-3 minutes or until spinach begins to wilt.
4.Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in beans, stock, meatballs and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; simmer 5-7 minutes or until meatballs are 160°F and soup is hot. Top with cheese and serve.