Thursday, March 31, 2011

Super Simple Italian Meatball Soup

Dinner: March 28

In sticking with my comfort food theme of the previous week, I was looking for a simple soup, something that my slow cooker could process on my behalf and didn’t take a lot of preparation or cost on my part. I also wanted dinners for a few days. That led me to my Betty Crocker casserole/slow cooker recipe book.

The choice was Italian meatball soup, something I’d long been convinced that I could cook on my own. Since I didn’t have the energy - or courage - to try my own meatballs, though, I went with the recipe’s suggestion of frozen meatballs. Also, instead of using the recommended can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, I used plain canned tomatoes and added my own spices. So risqué, I know.

Basics:  Used 16 ounces of frozen Italian meatballs, 1 ¾ cup of beef broth, 1 cup of water, 1 can of diced tomatoes undrained, 1 can of drained cannellini beans, dried basil and oregano, fresh minced garlic; added all ingredients to the slow cooker. Set cooker to low for 8 hours.

This was a simple meal, and it tasted like it. It was flavorful, but it was evident that I used dried herbs and frozen pre-made meatballs, as the soup lacked some umph. I tried to do what the recipe said and shred some fresh Parmesan cheese on top of the soup, but it melted very quickly and became mere lumps of sad-looking cheese. With that said, the soup was good enough, simple and cheap, as well as filling, and it was enough for four meals throughout the week.

I would recommend this for a family meal or something to take to work for lunch during the week, as it was super easy to do. However, I would suggest leaving off the fresh cheese, and if time allows, making your own meatballs.

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