Easy weeknight meatball soup


This is a super quick and easy one that I made for dinner last week. It turned out so yummy that I figured I'd better share the recipe. This is the kind of soup I love to make, it's fast, it's healthy, and it's a big crowd pleaser. 

I made a big pot. Because, soup. Why wouldn't you want a big pot? Leftover soup is even better than fresh soup, and it's a really easy and cost effective way to feed a crowd. But of course you could cut this  recipe and make less.

As with all of my recipes - this is really flexible! My quantities are just a guideline for you to start with, but I very much encourage you to customize this with whatever you've got on hand, or whatever sounds good.  Add more veggies, less veggies, leave out the tomatoes, swap the beef broth for chicken or turkey broth and use turkey meatballs - this is just a good basic technique that you can apply to any kind of soup. 


  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • a couple cloves of garlic  
  • oil for sautéing  
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 small bags frozen mini meatballs (mine were from Trader Joes) 
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups cooked rice or pasta (optional)
  • salt to taste


Chop or dice all of your veggies. Size doesn't really matter, it's just personal preference. If you like chunky soups, then cut them in bigger chunks. If you think your littles (like mine) are more likely to eat it with small bites of veggies, then cut them as small as you can.

Heat a good size soup pot, and then pour in just enough oil to cover the bottom. Saute all the veggies in the oil until beginning to soften. You can season with a pinch or two of salt to help them along. Once your veggies are cooked a little, add everything else except the salt. I hold off on the salt for a while because the saltiness of broths and meatballs can really very, so you want to let your soup simmer for a while and let all the flavors start to combine before you add more salt. 


The rice or pasta is optional. I love this kind of soup with rice, I just think it makes it even more comforting. But it's really delicious without, so if you're trying to cut carbs go ahead and leave it out. Or sometimes when I make something like this I will serve it with a bowl of cooked rice or pasta on the side, so that I can have mine without the extra carbs and my kids can add carbs to theirs. You can also start with uncooked rice, but you'll want to add an extra 2 cups of broth for each 1 cup of dry rice. 

This is so easy to make that it's a great one to have the kids help with. I chopped and sautéed the veggies, and one of my five-year-old girls did everything else. 

Once everything is combine in the pot, then just let it simmer.  You'll want to simmer it for at least long enough to get your meatballs all heated and cooked through, probably 20 minutes. But really the longer the better.  This is totally the kind of things that you could put in your slow cooker and let it just simmer on low for several hours, or put it on a back burner of your stove. I like to let this kind of soup simmer for at least an hour if I have time, it all just tastes better that way, but even after 20 minutes it will be delicious. That's what makes this the perfect weeknight meal. After it has simmered for a while, and your meatballs have cooked and released some of their flavor in to the broth, give it a taste. It's at this point that you can add more salt or other seasoning if you think it needs it. 




Lisa Marsh

Mom to two sets of twins.

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