Hearty filling soup that will not only keep you warm but will also keep you full and going. This soup has a lot of filling ingredients that will make you going until you have a chance to have a full sit down meal. It is loaded with macaroni, meatballs and lots of fresh vegetables. This Macaroni and Meatballs Soup is a meal on its own.
You know you need more soup as soon as the weather starts getting chilly, which is basically when Fall season starts. Here in Vancouver, we get more rain than snow. We are not as cold and snowy as the other provinces but we do have our fair share of cold days too, although more on the rain as well. Soup is probably one of the staple in my house during this time of the year up until early spring. I often have soup in my refrigerator to keep me warm, all day long. I have soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had posted quite a lot of soup in my blog and that a testament how much I love them. They are quite filling warm comfort food. Sometimes I like my soup thick and creamy, and sometimes I prefer the broth style soup, the likes of Minestrone Soup, Chicken Mami, Vermicelli Soup and Chicken Macaroni Soup.
I had been leaving on soup lately, not because I do not have other meals to eat but because the cold weather is making me crave for it. I have soup for breakfast with my homemade bread (so good!), and I sometimes have it for lunch with salad or even for dinner before having my main meal. Soup is my best friend on cold rainy or snowy weather. Depends on my craving, sometimes I like to smooth and creamy, and sometimes I like it hearty and chunky, just like this soup.
This Macaroni and Meatballs Soup is a worthy soup for a meal. With the macaroni pasta, meatballs and tons of vegetables , this soup is sure to keep you full. This is such an easy recipe to make, and I made it even easier by using my favorite ready to eat plant based meatballs from IKEA. I often keep this meatballs handy in my freezer so if I need something to add to pasta, soup or something to go with veggies, I can easily pull it out and have it ready in just few minutes.
You can use any type of meatballs here. Plant base or real meatballs are both great depending on your preference. I just really love using plant based meatballs for when I want to have a break from eating meat. I have a separate post on how to make juicy meatballs and it cones with some tips and tricks for a soft, tender and juicy meatballs. Check it out HERE.
How to Make Macaroni and Meatballs Soup
The Meatballs – Plant based or Regular Meatballs
One of the main key ingredients of this soup that you need to make is the Meatballs. You can make your own, or use a store bought meatballs, either one works just fine. You can also use any kind of meatballs. I used plant ready to serve based meatballs, this made the process a lot faster and easier. Although even if you make your own meatballs, it is not as diffuse. All it takes is mixing all the ingredients in a bowl, shaping and cooking the meatballs. You can bake it, sear it on the pan, or simmer it with the soup. If you are making a large batch of meatballs, baking it is a faster way to go. You do not have to use all the meatballs, you can freeze it and use it for future cooking. For this recipe, if using a homage meatballs from scratch, I recommend searing the meatballs in the same pan you are making the soup. The juice from the meatballs adds flavor to the soup, that’s a bonus. Once you have the meatballs ready, all the rest of the steps are quite fast.
If you do not like meatballs, you can substitute it with shredded or chunks of chicken or turkey. You can use fresh raw meat and saute it with the vegetables or use rotisserie chicken.
Sauté the onion, garlic, vegetables and spices then add the macaroni and broth. I used mini macaroni pasta, the one I used for making mac and cheese. You can also use other types of pasta, I recommend any shell style pasta more than the long pasta like spaghetti or fettuccine.
For the broth, you can use how made or store bought. You can use vegetable or beef, chicken broth. If using store-bought, check the sodium level or taste it so you can adjust the salt in the recipe. I used low sodium broth in all of my soup, sometimes I use store-bought and sometimes I make my own from my vegetable trimming and skins.
For the spices and seasonings, I opted for the simple salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. A short cut substitute will be a bouillon cubes or soup powder. If you are using any of these, hold back on adding the salt at the last few minutes of cooking and add it gradually. Although very convenient to use, Soup powder and bouillon cubes are often high in sodium so always be careful when using them. I sometimes underestimate the amount and add more than what is needed. If this happens, add more broth to reduce the saltiness.
I used just carrots and celery for this soup. I used the extra leaves of celery along with the stick itself. It is a good idea to add some left greens to this soup to make it even more hearty and filling. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, endives, escarole and cabbage are good options. If adding more vegetables, you will have to add more broth as this leafy greens can absorb the liquid making the soup a bit dry. Since there is macaroni here which has a lot of starch, adding more broth will keep them soup have a better ratio of broth to vegetables. The good thing about soup is that you can easily adjust the seasoning as needed. As you add more broth, you will need to add more spices to keep it flavorful. That’s an easy thing ti do so do not hesitate to experiment on this soup. Use the herbs and spices you like and add vegetables that you enjoy to eat. That’s is the key to enjoying your food.
Now let’s make this soup, shall we?
If you have a leftover bread, I suggest make it into croutons. Croutons are baked crunchy bread usually added on top of salad and soup. I have a video recipe that I left below or you can click HERE
- 1 tablespoon flavorless Oil
- 3 cloves Garlic – minced
- 1/2 cup White Onion – chopped
- 1 Celery Stick – cut in small pieces
- 1/3 cup Carrots – small cubes
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Red Chile Flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1/4 cup small Macaroni Pasta(or any shell pasta)
- 3 cups Broth
- 8 Meatballs
- Make the Meatballs: This can be made days in advance or even weeks in advance. Keep it in the freezer until ready to use/cook. Get the recipe HERE. You can cook the meatballs in a a heated pan with oil or you can also bake it in the oven. I suggest cooking it in the same pan where you are making the soup. This adds flavor to the soup.
- In a heated pan, add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook for few minutes then add the garlic, salt, black pepper, red Chile flakes and Italian seasoning. Sauté for few minutes then add the broth and macaroni. If you have bouillon cubes you can also add some for extra flavoring. Just be careful as bouillon are high in sodium so make sure to add the salt close to the end of the cooking so you can adjust it accordingly.
- Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes or until the macaroni is cook to your liking. Add the meatballs are simmer for another 3 minutes . Adding the meatballs at the end prevent the meatballs from getting over cooked.
- Add Greens: This is totally optional but can make the soup really hearty and filling. Turn off the heat and add a handful of fresh greens, the likes of Spinach, Kale, Endives, Escarole or shredded cabbage. As always, taste and adjust seasoning as desired
- Serve: Transfer in a serving bowl and serve with bread on the side, garnish of fresh chopped Cilantro and few pieces of Croutons if you have some.
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Enjoy! If you make this, share and tag me in Instagram #SweetNSpicyLiving. I would like to see your creations too.
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