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.
Huge hit at my house, and I agree that its' better the next day. This freezes well, so I'm making a double batch this time.
Carol, my husband and I enjoyed the soup (minus the spinach). Hubby told me if I make this soup again, to leave out the spinach. When making the soup, I only added 1 tablespoon of minced garlic (about 3 large cloves), which I thought was enough garlic, plus I only added 2 teaspoons of the red pepper flakes, which I thought made the soup too hot & spicy, so next time I'm only going to add 1-1/2 teaspoons. I did add 3-(14 oz.) cans of reduced sodium broth (which is equivalent to 3-1/3 cups), plus 8-oz. of the long spaghetti noodles (broken into smaller pieces). I wasn't able to cut through the frozen spinach, so I microwaved it in a 900 watt oven for 7 minutes (along with some water, salt & pepper). I found I didn't need to simmer the soup as long as the recipe stated. I just simmered the soup while cooking the spaghetti, and after adding the cooked spaghetti, just heated the soup through. I found it only took me 1 hr. & 6 mins. to make this soup. Also, when I made the tiny meatballs, I prefered to bake them in a 350 degree oven for 11 minutes. Carol, the next time I make this soup, I'll probably substitute chopped green bell pepper for the spinach. Thanx for sharing this recipe!
This is exactly what i've been looking for....I know it will taste as good as it sounds...Mine is bland..I think it might be the addition of PEPERONI......Thank you sandy