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North Carolina, United States

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Year of Soup Recipe Challenge Week 4- Italian Style Meatball and Vegetable Soup

The soup for week 4 of my Year of Soup Challenge is one I developed for a recipe contest a few years ago. Even though my recipe wasn't chosen in the contest, I still think it's a winner because there are only 7 ingredients, it takes 5 minutes or less to prep, and my slow cooker does all the work! The result is a tasty, savory soup that's chock-full of Italian flavor, and that leaves me time to do other things like work on this blog! I like to serve this soup with Rosemary Foccacia and seasonal fruit salad (Foccacia recipe is in $2 Dinners article...end of the column).

Italian-Style Meatball and Vegetable Soup (serves 4)

1 (16-18 oz.) bag frozen cooked meatballs
½ of a 16 oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables (about 2 cups)
1 (14 ½ oz.) can diced tomatoes (any flavor), undrained
1 packet dry mushroom gravy mix (you can use onion or brown gravy too)
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup broken spaghetti noodles
1 ½ tsp. dried Italian-style seasoning
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Put meatballs and frozen mixed vegetables in a 3 ½ - 4 qt. slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine undrained tomatoes, gravy mix, water and Italian seasoning; pour over meatballs and vegetables in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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"In the childhood memories of every good cook, there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom."

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