This is actually a meal on it's own, if you love pasta sauce and meatballs, you will love this soup! use your own favorite meatball recipe or use my Kittencal's Italian Melt-In-Your-Mouth Meatballs. This soup will increase in flavor if left overnight in the fridge, so it is best if prepared a day ahead, all ingredient amounts may be adjusted to taste, serve this delicious soup with garlic bread, crusty buns or crostini :)
- 1 lb lean ground beef (shaped in tiny meatballs)
- 1 1⁄2 cups spicy pepperoni, chopped or 1 1⁄2 cups turkey pepperoni
- 2 -4 tablespoons oil
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon dried chili pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1 -2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 -2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (10 ounce) can condensed tomato soup, undiluted
- 3 -5 cups chicken broth (use less amount of broth for a thicker soup)
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
- seasoning salt (or use white salt to taste)
- black pepper (lots!)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional or to taste)
- cooked spaghetti (broken into small pieces or use other pasta)
- grated parmesan cheese
- Shape the ground beef into tiny meatballs using you favorite recipe.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; brown the meatballs with pepperoni until browned (the meatballs do not have to cook completely) remove to a bowl.
- Add in sliced mushrooms, onion, garlic, green bell pepper, chili flakes, basil and oregano; sauté for about 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
- Add in the undiluted soup, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth and chopped spinach, then add in the meatballs and pepperoni back to the pot; bring to a boil, season with seasoned salt, lots black pepper and sugar (if using).
- Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 2 hours or less (uncover and simmer the last 30 minutes of cooking, the soup will thicken more if simmer uncovered for a longer time!).
- Add in the cooked spaghetti.
- Ladle into bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese, serve with garlic bread or crostini on the side.