RECIPE: Slow Cooker Meatball and Vegetable Soup
This is a soup that I whipped up during "Snowmageddon '11". Nothing is more satisfying than a warm, hearty soup after 5 hours of snow blowing and shoveling. This is a great recipe because you can have the slow cooker do all the work. You don't want to be cooking "heavy duty" after working hard battling snow drifts. I also did one more short cut that my Italian mother would cringe at...I used store bought, frozen meatballs. You can absolutely make your own and I have added a recipe in case you are so inclined, but we decided to take that short cut, and I used a pretty tasty brand we like that passes muster. The soup was just as good, either way.
1 1/2 lbs. Frozen Italian meatballs, like Armour (http://armourmeats.com/) or Fontanini (http://www.fontanini.com)
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 14 oz. cans diced tomato with seasonings
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. Chopped fresh basil
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. Dried oregano
1/8 tsp. Dried thyme
32 oz. Low sodium beef broth
1 cup water
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 lb cooked egg noodles
Bake the meatballs according to package directions. Let drain on paper towels while you prepare the soup.
Put the vegetables, liquids and seasonings in the slow cooker. Cook on low. Add the cooked meatballs. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
Cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain. Serve soup with a handful of cooked noodles in each bowl. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
1 lb. Ground beef
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Mix all the ingredients together. shape them into 3/4 inch meatballs. Transfer to aluminum lined baking sheet, and bake in a preheated oven to 350 for about 20 minutes. Drain meatballs on paper towels while they cool.