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Preparation Time: <5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 - 15 minutes
Soup "season" tends to run from autumn through early to mid-spring. This particular soup is hearty, rich and so good, you may want to make it all year long! It is incredibly quick and easy to make, uses wholesome and healthy ingredients, and will satisfy even the heartiest eater. Beef broth, seasoned canned tomatoes and water make up the liquid portion of the soup, while the heart of it is comprised of little turkey meatballs, vegetables, tiny pasta, and a little Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes for extra zip. Serve as a main course with a side of crusty bread or green salad, or as an appetizer (like at a soup party).
- 1 (14 oz.) can fat free, reduced sodium beef broth (Vegetarians may substitute vegetarian broth or soup powder I make these types of soup all the time.)
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with onion OR Italian-style stewed tomatoes (if you can get no salt added, this is preferable) (I regularly buy fresh tomatoes at a cheap local market and freeze surplus. Fresh or frozen tomatoes also work.)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, crushed
- 8 oz. frozen Italian-style meatballs, or your own from the freezer (Vegetarians may substitute peas, beans lentils of the type Italiens use, pulses are best pre-cooked as they take longer to cook than the other ingredients. Meat substitute also works)
- 1/2 cup dry, small pasta (ditalini, orzo, etc.) (I generally use wholemeal pasta.)
- 1 cup frozen, mixed vegetables
- 1 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan Note: Parmesan is never vegetarian so for the vegetarian version a different cheese is needed.
- Kosher salt (optional - if you use reduced/salt free broth or vegetables, you probably will have to add a little salt)
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
In a large pot, stir together the beef broth, undrained tomatoes, water, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil.
Add the meatballs, pasta and frozen vegetables. Return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer uncovered, about 10 minutes, or until the pasta and vegetables are tender. Stir frequently, or else the pasta will end up cooking into the bottom of the pot. (I cover mine so it doesn't need so much stirring I get a dish that's more of a soup and less of a stew.)
Taste for seasonings, then ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top. Serve immediately.