Italian Sausage Meatball Soup

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I finally got a chance to slow cook something in the slow cooker! I found this recipe actually on some Crock Pot website where there was a list of a billion soups, chilis and stuff I’ve seen countless times before. This one stood out for some reason. Maybe it was the premise of making sausage meatballs, which I had never done before or maybe it was that my ego was bruised after my cheesecake brownie failure/fiasco that I wanted to make a can’t-fail soup that seemed super simple and straightforward.

Whatever my reasoning was, the soup turned out pretty good, even with using lean turkey sausage to keep it healthier! I didn’t love it because I used hot sausage, instead of mild like the recipe suggested. I think it just overpowered everything else that was going on and was too sausage-y. I also made a 1/2 pound too many meatballs so the broth to sausage ratio was a little unbalanced. My boyfriend, who is not a soup fan, thought this was my best soup yet (probably because of the lack of actual soup!)

Next time, I’ll try to keep these things in mind in an effort to perfect the soup. But it was still a satisfying meal that was perfect for the seemingly Arctic temperatures that are plaguing Philadelphia right now!
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Ingredients

Sausage Meatballs
1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Soup
4 cups hot chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup mini pasta shells or any small pasta
1 bag (10 ounces) baby spinach leaves
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste if needed

Directions

  1. Combine all meatball ingredients and form into small marble-size balls.
  2. Combine broth, tomato paste, garlic and red pepper flakes in slow cooker. Add meatballs. Cover and cook on 5 to 6 hours.
  3. Thirty minutes before serving, add pasta. When pasta is tender, stir in spinach leaves. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
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