We absolutely love this soup! Like the name suggests, this is a very hearty soup, which means it’s filling and is the kind of soup you want to eat on a cold day. It’s a soup that makes you feel all warm and cozy inside.
The soup is packed with good-for-you ingredients too, which in my opinion, makes eating meatballs and pasta feel just a little bit healthier! There’s onions, garlic, celery, carrots, and lots of canned tomatoes!
So, let’s get down to business and discuss the ins and outs of this soup. Because, when it comes to making homemade soup, there really are no rules. As long as there’s enough broth in the pot, and as long as none of the ingredients are overcooked or underdone, there’s no rules.
What type of meatballs can I use?
As I mentioned in the recipe card, you can use meatballs that you prepare on your own, or you can use frozen, store-bought meatballs. I know sometimes the thoughts of having to prepare one recipe just to make another recipe can be quite daunting, so this recipe has been tested with frozen meatballs and it works perfectly!
If you really want to go all out and make meatballs from scratch, please do so. Most of us have a meatball recipe at home that we use over and over again, so you can use that one.
Good news for vegetarians!!! Frozen vegetarian meatballs will work perfectly, making this dish a vegetarian meal that’s hearty, wholesome, and one the whole family can eat.
Can I make this ahead?
Yes, you can make it ahead, but you should consider two things. If you prepare the soup a day or two ahead and refrigerate it, don’t add the pasta. Once you re-heat the soup, add the pasta and meatballs (frozen or fresh) and simmer until the pasta is cooked. Otherwise, the pasta will be an overcooked mess.
If you prefer, you can make this soup way ahead of time! Stop cooking the soup once you have completed step 4 in the recipe card below. Cool the soup completely and package into freezer-proof containers until you’re hungry for Hearty Meatball Soup.
To prepare from frozen, remove from freezer and thaw at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Place the soup in a pot with a splash of water. Simmer over low heat until soup is hot. Add the pasta and meatballs and continue from step 5.
Hearty Meatball Soup is one of those soups that almost eats like a stew. It’s thick and filling. I love that the meatballs remain whole in the soup and that the soup provides that comforting feeling you get when eating a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs.
Along with the pasta and meatballs, you get a complete serving of vegetables, which is heart-healthy, along with some really great flavour that you managed to develop in only an hour cooking time. And, lastly, you get to put parmesan cheese on soup, and no one gets to think you’re weird!
Hearty Meatball Soup
- 1 pound meatballs, homemade or store-bought
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 1 cup finely diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 15 ounces canned tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 15 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup dry pasta, ditalini, oregghiette, orzo, or another small pasta
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- If using homemade meatballs, prepare the meatballs and bake or pan fry (depending on your your recipe) until cooked all way through. Remove from heat and set aside. If using store-bought/pre-made meatballs, prepare according to package instructions. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, over medium heat, add the olive oil, onion, celery, and carrots. Saute for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, vegetable broth, basil, oregano, salt, and ground black pepper. Stir to combine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until carrots are cooked.
- Add the pasta to the pot and stir to combine. Place the meatballs into the soup. Place the lid back on the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Check to see if the pasta is cooked. (Cook for a minute or two more if needed.)
- Remove from heat. Add half of the chopped parsley and stir into the soup.
- Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with more parsley and a tablespoon or two of the freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.