Italian Meatball and Vegetable Soup
This delicious Italian style soup boasts not only plenty of vegetables but also homemade beef meatballs, for a wonderful result. The base of the soup is chicken bouillon along with herbs, while the meatballs are made with tomato concentrate and garlic, for a simple yet mouthwatering flavor. Making this soup is delightfully easy. Simply combine the meatball ingredients, then shape the mixture into meatballs, and add them to the slow cooker along with the other ingredients.
This is a tweak-able soup, so if you want to swap the ground beef for ground turkey or pork, go ahead. You can also swap the vegetables for others, perhaps zucchini or eggplant, and even add some cooked rice to the meatballs if you have some left over from another meal. Minestrone soup is a classic Italian soup made with whatever vegetables the cook happens to have left in the refrigerator and the same can apply to this meatball soup. It is actually a great way to use up any vegetables past their prime.
Although soup is especially great during fall and winter, there is no reason you cannot serve this at any time of the year. Do you usually have a hot meal at lunchtime? If so, swap your usual Panini or omelet for this homemade soup, and enjoy the amazing flavor. It is also perfect at dinnertime and you can add some cooked rice or pasta to the mixture to make it more filling, and serve plenty of lovely, crusty bread on the side, or perhaps some ciabatta or focaccia bread to keep the Italian theme going. Some people like to add some parmesan flakes to their dish of soup, while others might add fresh parsley or basil.
- 1½ chicken bouillon cubes
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
- 1 peeled, chopped medium potato
- ½ sliced carrot
- 1 sliced leek
- 1 minced garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves)
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Put the chicken bouillon cube and water in the crockpot.
- Put the lid on to keep it hot.
- Meanwhile, combine the beef, tomato concentrate and garlic.
- Sprinkle some salt and black pepper into the mixture and combine.
- Shape this mixture into meatballs, as large or small as you want.
- Add a little flour if they are not holding together properly.
- Put the meatballs in the liquid in the crockpot.
- Add the potato, leek and carrot, as well as the basil.
- If you are using fresh parsley instead of dried, add it at the end.
- If you are using dried, add it now.
- Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until the vegetables are tender.
- The larger the vegetable pieces, the longer the cooking time, so give it 8 hours cooking time instead if they are large.
- Add salt and black pepper to taste (and fresh parsley leaves if using).
- Serve the soup hot.
Are you wondering what to make for lunch or dinner? Consider this tasty Italian soup which boasts beef meatballs, herbs and tasty vegetables. It is simple to prepare in the crockpot and after shaping the meatballs all you need to do is add them to the slow cooker with the other ingredients and let the soup cook. Your kitchen will soon be filled with a lovely aroma and the finished soup is fantastic, especially served with some crusty bread to soak up every last bit of the soup. You will probably find this colorful soup appeals to the kids too if they like meatballs.
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