Nothing is better than a hearty homemade soup, but sometimes hours of simmering and stirring doesn't fit into your schedule. Skip the hours of work with this simple meatball soup recipe. With help from frozen, pre-made meatballs and your slow cooker, having homemade soup is as easy as adding all of the ingredients to the pot and going about your day.
For extra flavor and nutrients, feel free to add some diced carrots and celery to the soup along with the chopped onions. Carrots are a good way to add subtle natural sweetness to a dish, and picky eaters aren't likely to notice them if the dice is quite small. For the frozen mixed vegetables, choose a corn and green bean medley or one with lima beans. Or add a handful of fresh chopped spinach, chard, or kale to give the soup a flavor and color boost. For faster cooking vegetables, like frozen peas or green beans, cut the final cooking down by half.
The soup is excellent with garlic bread or a crusty loaf of French bread. Add a tossed green salad or Caesar salad for a satisfying dinner.
- 1 medium potato
- 1 small onion
- 1 pound frozen meatballs (Italian seasoned)
- 3 cups beef stock
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (12 to 16-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables (about 2 to 3 cups)
- Peel the potato and dice it into 1/2-inch cubes.
- Peel the onion and chop it finely.
- In the slow cooker, combine the frozen meatballs, beef stock, tomatoes, diced potato, chopped onion, garlic powder, and pepper.
- Cover the pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes and onion are tender.
- Add the frozen vegetables and stir to blend the ingredients. Cover and continue cooking for 30 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Low starch "waxy" potatoes hold their shape better than higher starch baking potatoes. Choose red-skinned potatoes, round whites or long whites, or fingerling potatoes for crock pot dishes.
- Make homemade meatballs and freeze them for dishes like this one. Just use your favorite meatball recipe and arrange them in a foil-lined baking pan. Bake the meatballs at 375 F for about 20 to 25 minutes—or until 160 F on an instant-read thermometer—and then freeze them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Put the frozen meatballs in freezer bags, label the bag with the name and date, and freeze them for up to 4 months (longer if vacuum-sealed).
- Make a double batch and freeze it in individual portions. To freeze, cool the soup and then ladle it into shallow containers. Label with the name and a use-by date. Freeze the soup for up to 3 months (for best quality).