1 1/2tspItalian seasoningor 1 tsp basil and 1/4 tsp of thyme and oregano leaves
Parmesan rindor 3/4-inch cube of Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground pepper
20frozen, fully cooked Italian meatballsabout 1 inch *see notes
3/4cupditalini pastaor other small pasta
Freshly grated Parmesanfor 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.
Leftovers will thicken in the fridge. Thin when reheating with a little more chicken stock or water. If you can't find fully cooked frozen Italian meatballs, you can use fresh and pre-cook them before adding to soup.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.Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!