Italian Meatball Soup
2 medium carrots
2 stalks celery
1 small onion
2T tomato paste
4 garlic cloves (pressed)
1T Italian Seasoning (this calls for Pampered Chef mix, but I just used the spices I had on hand)
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes in puree
2 C beef broth
1 1/2 C water
16 frozen cooked meatballs
salt and pepper
-Peel carrots, chop carrots, onion and celery (with food chopper if you have one).
-Lightly spray 4quart casserole with oil. Add carrots, onion and celery. Cook over medium heat 4-5 minutes, or until it begins to brown, stirring occasionally.
-Push vegetables to one side of pan. Add tomato paste; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until paste begins to caramelize.
-Add pressed garlic and seasoning mix; mix well. Stir in tomatoes, broth and water; bring to a simmer.
-Cut meatballs in half and add to soup. Simmer 10-12 minutes; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with croutons, if desired.
I've made this twice, and it turned out a little different each time. This time I added too much tomato paste, so it was REALLY tomatoey. It's pretty tomatoey anyway, so if you don't like the taste, you probably won't like this. But it is nice and hot, and a sneaky way to get more vegetables into your meal!