A couple nights a week our family ends up eating in shifts because everyone is going every which way, all at the same time. Having a hearty soup simmering in the slow cooker is an easy way to give them all a warm meal.—Susan Stetzel, Gainesville, New York
When time is tight, Beverly Menser whips up Pasta Meatball Soup in her Madisonville, Kentucky home.
The savory Italian soup relies on items most cooks have in the kitchen, including pasta, prepared spaghetti sauce, canned and frozen vegetables and frozen meatballs. The chunky mixture only needs to simmer for minutes before it can be ladled into bowls.
Marcia Piaskowski of Plantsville,Connecticut shares the recipe for this satisfying soup that uses frozen meatballs. It cooks on the stovetop in half an hour, but Marcia often doubles the recipe and simmers it in the slow cooker for easy preparation.
Our home economists combined ready-made turkey meatballs with fresh and frozen vegetables to come up with this nicely seasoned soup. Small families can enjoy half now and freeze the rest for later. But bigger families may want to double the recipe, so there’s plenty leftover for a second meal. Sprinkle servings with Parmesan cheese just before serving.
“After our son left home, I had to learn to pare down recipes for just my husband and me,” notes Sherry Little of Sherwood, Arkansas. “So I created this hearty soup with fast-cooking frozen meatballs.”
This creamy, super-thick soup is hearty with meatballs, mushrooms, barley, macaroni and rice. With dinner rolls or breadsticks, it's a simple and satisfying meal for my husband and me on a rainy day. Leftovers easily reheat for a fast, filling lunch or dinner.
-JoAnn Abbott, Kerhonkson, New York
Meet the Cook: To me, this is a very comforting, filling, homey soup. I especially like cooking it during winter months and serving it with hot rolls, bread or muffins. Gardening is something my husband and I enjoy doing together. We have a 10-year-old son still at home; his two sisters are grown and out on their own.
-Deborah Taylor, Inkom, Idaho
"It's a snap to put together this hearty soup before I leave for work," says Charla Tinney of Tyrone, Oklahoma. "I just add cooked pasta when I get home, and I have a few minutes to relax before supper is ready."
"As the busy parents of two boys, my husband and I are always on the lookout for quick meals," writes Linda de Beaudrap of Calgary, Alberta. "You don't have to thaw the frozen meatballs for this satisfying soup, so you can have it on the table in minutes."
Bite-size meatballs made from ground turkey perk up this fun alphabet soup. A variety of vegetables accents the rich tomato broth that is nicely season with herbs. Our Test Kitchen staff came up with this recipe.