Given the seemingly permanent layer of ice and snow and the temperatures that don’t seem to want to break freezing, I think it’s safe to say we have officially entered soup season! Truth be told I like soup so much that I eat it year round but something about this time of year when I can come home to a hot steaming bowl of comfort food give me warm and fuzzy feelings. I especially like thick, rich, and creamy soups, stews, and chowders when the weather turns cold and this soup certainly fits the bill.
A leftover bowl of this rich and creamy goodness is sitting in the fridge right now calling my name. This is one of my favorite new soups and I love it as a dinner recipe because it’s so filling that even my husband and my teenage son were finally full! Trust me with the teenager….that’s no easy feat! Our bowls were stuffed full of tasty mini meatballs, healthy spinach and tender pasta – a complete meal!
Two important things to note about this recipe are that 1) you don’t add the cream and the cheese and the pasta until the very end and 2) whatever you do – DON’T STIR THE SOUP – until it has been cooking for at least a few hours. Otherwise your meatballs will fall apart. Trust me…you must resist the temptation to stir…it’s not easy to put down the spoon but it’s important! 🙂
- For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- For the soup:
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta uncooked - for later
- 1 cup heavy cream for later
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese for later
- In a large bowl mix together the meatball ingredients by hand until evenly combined (don't overmix)
- Form the meat into small balls - about the size of bouncy balls - and place in crockpot (it's okay to add a second layer)
- Carefully pour in the chicken broth and add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, thyme and butter
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8
- About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat add the pasta, cream and cheese
- Finally you can give it a little stir to combine and let it heat on high for 15 minutes
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