I love my slow cooker but I don’t use it as much as I would like to.
A slow cooker can be a busy person’s best friend, but my problem is that so many recipes require only 5-6 hours of cooking time. Well, I work full-time, which means with my commute and 8 hour work day, I’m gone for more like 9-10 hours most days. And so, alas, I am mostly limited to crock pot cooking on the weekend. Oy. Does anyone else have this problem?
Conveniently many dishes prepared in the crock pot are warm, homey, comfort foods: a perfect match for Sunday dinner.
On a recent Sunday morning, I dug my crock pot out of my linen closet-turned-pantry to prepare this soup. (Food > Linens. Got my priorities straight.)
The first few additions are quite simple. Pour and dump. We’ve got canned diced tomatoes, beef broth, and frozen meatballs in here. I opted to use frozen turkey meatballs (found these in the freezer section of Meijer) in place of Italian meatballs, and saved nearly 100 calories per serving. These meatballs were really good and I’ll definitely use them again next time.
Canned kidney beans. Easy peasy.
There is a bit of veggie chopping to do… but this is a task in which I relish on a relaxed Sunday. After work, it seems like chopping veggies is such a chore, but on a relaxed Sunday morning, this is my zen.
I’m in the zone.
And naturally, we need some seasonings.
My crock pot was filled to the brim. I really need a larger crock pot!
During the final 30 minutes of cooking, add elbow macaroni and fresh parsley. You could skip the pasta if you’re into the whole low-carb thing. The soup is pretty hearty without it.
I used a whole grain macaroni, and there is only one cup of it in here. I enjoy the pasta, myself.
And BOOM! After six hours of cooking: Veggie Meatball Soup!
Clearly this soup is the ultimate Meal In A Bowl. I couldn’t ask for more on a chilly Sunday evening!
Well, a piece of dippin’ bread might be good.
Can’t wait to make this again!
Veggie Meatball Soup
Recipe from Taste of Home
- 1 package (12 ounces) frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup water
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
2 cups shredded cabbage
- In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 14 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until vegetables are almost tender.
- Stir in macaroni and parsley; cook 30 minutes longer or until macaroni is tender. Serve with cheese if desired.
Yield: 6 servings (2-1/2 quarts).
My rating: 8.7 noms /10 noms