Easy, delicious and hearty enough for dinner, this meatball soup is made easy starting with store-bought fully cooked meatballs. Slow cooker option, too!
During the busy holiday season, it's always great to have easy dishes like this Easy Italian Meatball Soup up your sleeve. It is the perfect combination of easy, delicious, vegetable rich, hearty, comforting and warm.
I love all the little parts that go in to this soup - meatballs, vegetables, greens and pasta, all in a tomato flavoured broth. It's a great combination of flavours and textures! Serve with garlic bread for an easy and delicious dinner!
Carrots. It is always really disappointing when you make a dish like this and upon first spoonful, discover that the carrots aren't cooked through. You can avoid that by cutting your carrots into small pieces and taste testing your carrots for done-ness, before adding the pasta to this soup. Keep simmering until they are tender, then add the pasta to finish.
If you want to up the fibre quotient, some white or red kidney beans would not be out of place in this soup.
Like some heat with your warm soup? Add a pinch of red pepper flakes when you are sautéing the vegetables.
If you have leftovers, you will find that the pasta will continue to soak up liquid from the soup, resulting in a thick soup. It will thin slightly with re-heating. If you need to thin further, add a bit more chicken stock or water.
Be sure to season well with salt and pepper, as needed, to really bring the flavours together.
I made my soup with frozen, store-bought, fully cooked Italian meatballs. Look for them in with the frozen meats at your grocer (President's Choice in Canada has some nice ones!). You can also start with store-bought fresh/ready-made Italian meatballs from the meat case, that you pre-cook yourself before adding to the soup. Finally, you can also make your own meatballs from scratch from your favourite recipe and pre-cook.
Crockpot option! Add all ingredients except pasta and spinach to your slow cooker. Cook covered on low for 5-6 hours. Add pasta and cook, covered an additional 15-20 minutes. Stir in baby spinach until wilted, then serve with freshly grated Parmesan on top.
Easy Italian Meatball Soup
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 cup carrots, diced 1/4-inch
- 1/2 cup celery, diced 1/4-inch
- 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste, optional
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained,preferably fire-roasted
- 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, or 1 tsp basil and 1/4 tsp of thyme and oregano leaves
- Parmesan rind, or 3/4-inch cube of Parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 20 frozen, fully cooked Italian meatballs, about 1 inch *see notes
- 3/4 cup ditalini pasta, or other small pasta
- 4 cups baby spinach
- Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
- Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat on the stovetop. Add carrots, celery and onion and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, if using and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender (taste to be sure). Discard bay leaf.
- Pour in can of tomatoes. Add Italian seasoning, Parmesan rind, if using, and a bit of salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir to combine. Add meatballs. Continue simmering soup another 15 minutes, to allow the flavours to come together.
- Add pasta and simmer a further 15 minutes, or until pasta is cooked. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt, pepper and/or Italian seasoning, as needed. Remove from heat and stir in baby spinach until wilted.
- Serve garnished with freshly grated Parmesan.
Nutritional information provided for general guidance only and should not be relied upon to make personal health decisions.