Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Italian Meatball Soup

Italian Meatball Soup recipe
Small bite-size meatballs filled with plenty of Italian herbs and Parmesan cheese are combined with fresh vegetables and more cheese to make this richly flavorful beef and tomato soup. I'm hopeful that if I keep making soups, chili and stews, winter will last here in the southwest for at least a few more weeks. With highs already in the 70s, the odds are slim that will happen, but I'm hopeful. For those of you in the colder and snow-filled parts of the world, I wish you all the sunshine that you are hoping to see!

This soup was declared a keeper by all members of the family the first time I made it. In the couple of years since then, we've eaten it both with and without pasta. We all enjoy it both ways, although my younger boys like it best with a scoop of pasta stirred into it. (Direction for both methods are included below.)

Italian Meatball Soup
Yield: 8 servings
(printable recipe)

Meatball Ingredients:
recipe makes about (36) 3/4" meatballs
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 cup panko or regular breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons finely minced yellow onion
1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg

Soup Ingredients:
1small yellow onion, about 1 cup chopped small, I simply used the remainder of the onion from the meatballs
2 cups carrots, sliced thin
1 cups celery, sliced very thin
29 ounces crushed tomatoes
14 ounces Italian stewed tomatoes or plain stewed tomatoes
4 cups beef broth, or hot water plus 1 tablespoon Beef base
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or a combination of basil, oregano and thyme
Optional: 2 - 3 cups cooked pasta

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpat mats. Set aside. Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir gently with a wooden spoon and then mix lightly with your hands to combine well without over mixing.

Using a not quite full 1" scoop place the meatballs on the baking sheet. Round them with your hands to smooth out each meatball. (If your meatballs are cracking, wet your hands to help smooth them.) I usually drop a scooped portion into one hand and smooth it gently before placing them on the trays. I tried to keep my meatballs less than 3/4" in size.

Bake the meatballs for 15-16 minutes. While the meatballs are simmering, combine all the soup ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the carrots are tender. When the meatballs are done, remove from the oven and place into the soup to simmer until ready to eat. If you are including pasta in this soup, you can ladle the soup over a half cup or so of pasta into each bowl. Or, you can toss all of the pasta directly into the pot of soup. Top with additional cheese are desired. Enjoy!

Italian Meatball Soup recipe

(Recipe originally published 10/17/2012 - recipe and photos updated 1/21/2014)

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ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Sweet and Sour Chili Chicken with Rice


  1. Clever idea for a soup Mary and your meatball recipe sounds delicious.

  2. Yes! Another excuse to eat meatballs! This is beautiful, what a rich red...and I like that you bake the meatballs instead of just poaching them in the soup

  3. Beautiful! I love how thick and inviting that broth seems. Thank you so much for sharing. Another winner that I will be making very soon!

  4. Perfect winter comfort food, and the meatballs sound excellent!

  5. Beautiful soup! I think I'd be just as happy without the pasta and like the idea of being able to add it to the bowl rather than the soup.

  6. What a gorgeous soup - the tomato red is so intense and now I'm craving meatballs! I've never had a soup like this, but I'd love a big warm bowl all for myself... I'm featuring this post in today's Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution as always). Thanks for continuing to inspire me with your creations...

  7. I am on the Meatball Soup printable recipe page but I don't see where I can print it.

    1. There isn't a "print" button, you simply print from your browser.

  8. This soup looks so hearty and comforting Mary! It is FREEZING (below zero) here today, so I'd love nothing more than to curl up on my cough with a giant bowl.

  9. They look and sound yummy and easy to prepare..It is cold here, but dry which is saying something for the pacific northwest we need rain and snow, if we don't get it soon, our summer will be a living hell..Snow for skiiers and the snowpack for the water we so need..Look at California 3rd year of a horrible drought, it affects millions of people, farmland and animals a lot..oh, my goodness!

  10. Great rich red meatball soup - who could resist it.

  11. This would be given a huge thumbs up from my kids and me too :)