With its steamy broth, hearty meatballs, and chunky vegetables, one would hardly know that this Italian soup is ready in under half an hour. So go ahead, tell your family/roommate/ husband/boyfriend/kids you slaved away all afternoon. Using pre-made meatballs, pre-made broth, and beans makes this a quick fix meal. Full of flavor, this soup is comforting and delicious. To make it for dinner tonight,
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup frozen chopped onions (about 6 oz)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 celery rib, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
5 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (42 fl oz)
2 1/2 cups water
20 refrigerated or frozen precooked meatballs (15 to 20 ounces)
2 (14-oz) cans small white beans, drained and rinsed
1 (5- to 6-oz) bag baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated for garnish
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 5- to 6-quart pot over high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onions, garlic, celery, and carrots, stirring occasionally, until onions are pale golden, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in broth and water and bring to a boil, covered.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté meatballs (do not thaw if frozen), turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 3 minutes.
- Add meatballs to soup along with beans and briskly simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and meatballs are heated through, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in spinach, cheese, salt, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute.