Prep 25 mins
Cook 24 hrs
Not sure if this should be called this a soup or stew, it's a meal in a bowl and really only needs to be served with a loaf of crusty bread, I use my own Parmesan meatball Kittencal's Italian Melt-In-Your-Mouth Meatballs for this and shape into 1-inch balls, store bought frozen meatballs will work fine, I have left the small shell pasta as optional you may add in at the end if desited... to make this vegetarian use vegetable broth and soy meatballs
- 4 -6 tablespoons olive oil
- 20 -25 small meatballs (or use as many as desired, if using store-bought frozen meatballs do not thaw before browning)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 -2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional or to taste)
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth (or use 4 cups broth and 1 cups water)
- 1 cup tomato sauce (can omit if desired and just use the broth)
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 2 (14 ounce) cans small white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (6 ounce) bagfresh Baby Spinach
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese (can use more)
- 1 -2 cup cooked small shell pasta (optional)
- Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a pot over medium heat; add in the meatballs and brown on all sides, then remove to a bowl.
- Add in onions and carrots, then saute for about 4 minutes.
- Add in garlic, Italian seasoning and chili flakes; cook stirring for 2 minutes.
- Add in broth and tomato sauce, seasoned salt and black pepper; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add in the browned meatballs with beans; bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour or even more.
- After the 1 hour cooking time add in the spinach, Parmesan cheese and small pasta (if using) simmer for about 2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
- Season with more salt and black pepper if desired.
- Serve with more Parmesan cheese on the side.
It was a cold, rainy day and I wanted comfort food but not something heavy. This hit the spot! Our kids love Kit's meatballs and the fact that we put them in soup was an added bonus. I thought this recipe had great "italian" flavor. I sauteed the onions, carrots, garlic, & italian seasoning as instructed. I then placed the sautee along with the broth, tomato sauce, meatballs & beans in a crock pot. About an hour before dinner I added the spinach but left out the pasta. Everyone added their own cheese as the soup was served. It was wonderful with a loaf of crusty bread and tossed salad. Another 5 star!