Slow Cooker Meatball Minestrone and Easy Breads Ideas


Fall is officially here and before you know it, you will be craving a bowl of hot soup! It is Soup Week all this week on RMK. I have a good line up of some yummy soups that are sure to hit the spot. I have been having #soupweek for several years now and it is definitely something I look forward to each time fall rolls around.

I love soups because they really can be an all in one dish. Of course, I do however love a side of bread or a roll with my soup. I have a lot of delicious recipes on my blog. However, if you need something quick to pair with the soups, I am also sharing some of my favorite ways to get some warm bread/rolls on the table fast and easy before we get to the soups. Homemade is always best but is definitely not always possible. Throughout the week, I am going to recommend a recipe or two to pair with each soup so if you have the time to make you own you can.

Peasant Bread

So, when you need quick and easy breads, the store is the easiest solution. However, bread from the bakery isn’t usually nice and hot. There are some grocery stores that have artisan type breads that have instructions on the package to finish them in the oven. Go for these! The results will be perfect to get that butter nice and melted when you take a slice. I have seen products like this in bakeries like my local Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Smith’s (Kroger).

Another place to go and get bread/rolls that are quick to make is the freezer section of the store. If you have the time to let the frozen dough thaw and rise, this is a great option. I recommend Rhodes dough. They have a great variety. You can get dough but they also offer items that can be warmed in the oven. My favorite frozen dough for rolls though is Terrels. People have thought that I made these from scratch. I can find them here in Utah at just about any grocery store. This is a company based in Utah so I am not sure how available these are outside of Utah.

Another great option in the frozen section is Sister Schubert’s. These products can be found at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club. I pick up the bulk dinner rolls from Sam’s Club. They only take 10 minutes in the oven and are truly delicious.

Cheddar, Garlic and Green Onion Biscuits

Lastly, you could grab some frozen biscuits from the freezer section of your grocery store. I have purchased the Pillsbury brand before from Sam’s Club. However, I noticed the other day that my local Sam’s now carries a different brand. The Pillsbury brand is also available in the regular grocery store. You can always buy any of the Pillsbury dough products from the refrigerated section of the store too, but when it comes to the biscuits when you are just eating them as biscuits, I prefer the frozen version.

Enough about bread. Now, let’s move on to today’s soup. This soup is packed full of veggies and mostly comes from cans. It also incorporates frozen Italian meatballs and is made in the slow cooker. Those Italian meatballs really add to the flavor of this dish.

Pasta is also found in this soup but is not cooked in the slow cooker. You don’t want it to absorb all of the liquid in this recipe. It can also become gummy. No one likes gummy pasta. This pasta gets cooked separately. Then you add a little to the bowl when serving and ladle the soup over the pasta.

Another thing about this soup is that it makes a lot!  Be sure to use a LARGE crock pot (at least 4 qt) or divide between 2 smaller slow cookers. If this recipe is way more than you need I recommend only cooking half the pasta and serving half the soup. Freeze the remaining soup. Then when you are ready to enjoy it again, cook the other half of the pasta and reheat the soup from the freezer.

My family usually doesn’t enjoy minestrone soup because it is all veggies. However, they did eat this meatball version with no complaint! For bread with this soup, I highly recommend these easy parmesan knots or these mini garlic monkey breads. Both are made from dough found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store and can be made in less than 30 minutes.

I am also a Canbassador for Cans Get You Cooking and this is a perfect “Cantry” recipe. It includes diced tomatoes, beef broth, tomato sauce, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and tomato soup! Cans really do get you cooking with this soup.  I love to keep a well stocked “Cantry” including canned soups, tomatoes, beans, fruit, and vegetables. It makes it easy to get dinner on the table.

Slow Cooker Meatball Minestrone Soup l realmomkitchen.com

Slow Cooker Meatball Minestrone Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 3 (14.5 oz cans) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1½ cups sliced carrots
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 30-35 fully cooked frozen Italian Meatballs
  • 8 oz of Ditalini Pasta or Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 (10¾ oz) can tomato soup
  • shredded or grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. In a large crock pot, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, carrots, onion, green beans, basil, oregano, and thyme. Stir to combine.
  2. Next add the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and frozen meatballs. You crock pot will be very full now.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. About 30 minutes before serving, get water boiling to cook the pasta and cook according to package directions.
  5. While the past cooks, add the tomato soup to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and let the soup continue to cook until the pasta is ready.
  6. To serve the soup, add a spoonful of pasta to each bowl and ladle soup over the pasta. Top each bowl with parmesan. Serves 10-12.

Recipe adapted from my sweet friend Jamie over at Jamie Cooks It Up.

 

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