This was a really delicious and filling meal. The depth of flavor the roasted vegetables imparted was impressive. I misread the recipe and put all of the vegetables including the leeks and fennel in the roasting pan but i think it only improved the flavor . I used 15 smaller cloves of garlic but everyone agreed more would have been better. I transferred everything into a soup pot and let it simmer a little bit before serving. I also added some extra spices (oregano, thyme and a little sage)to the meatballs but they would have been fine even plain. I had no problems with them cooking in the oven with the vegetables. They cooked up quickly and browned nicely. I will defiantly be making this again.
This was fantastic!! Instead of putting the veg in the oven I put them all in the soup pot and cooked them with a little bit of olive oil. Then added the broth. I also did not use fennel. Def a keeper!
I followed the recipe exactly, and whereas the vegetables were wonderful (and I did use the full 20 cloves of garlic) the meatballs just didn't cook (on a 5 year old GE Profile Dual Fuel Range). They didn't brown at all much less caramelize and there was a lot of ooze from the meatballs (I used Jennie O lean, not all breast). Since the ooze didn't seem to add any flavor, I got rid of it and cranked up the oven to broil after removing the vegetables. Everything deglazed just fine, the meatballs tasted pleasantly of fennel, but considering the effort and result, I think that I'll just cook up a pound of turkey sausage as another reader has suggested. Very delicious and satisfying, though.
Excellent, but I would eliminate the garlic next time. With all those sugary veggies, it was a tad sweet, and the garlic contributes considerably to that.
My husband and kids loved this soup. I used frozen meatballs from Costco because the kids like them and it simplified the recipe a little. Omitted the fennel seeds (didn't have any) This was the first time I cooked with leeks and was a little nervous but we all loved them. Will be making this soup again!!
This soup/stew is outstanding! My wife made this yesterday and is gone today. Perfect for a cold weather day. The only altered part of the recipe is she used turkey Italian sausage for the meatballs and kicked it up with a couple shakes of crushed red pepper and served it with hot Tuscan Roasted Garlic Loaf and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Yummmmy!
Excellent recipe. Packed full of flavor and healthy too; what more could you ask for at the start of 2009. The 4th step as a bit confusing. Instead, I did pour hot broth into both baking sheets (for meatballs and for vegetables) and then poured everything into the soup pot for a few minutes to get warm and to mingle. Excellent!