One Pot, Quick & Healthy Meatball Orzo Soup

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By Anna Grotevant, MS, RD, LDN

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My husband and I have a habit of scrapping our dinner plans on Sunday nights and ordering in (chicken, bacon, ranch pizza FTW) and that is a habit I’d like to work on breaking this year.  I know that one of my major barriers is laziness. I don’t want to get my rear off the couch to cook, and my husband doesn’t want to do a lot of dishes. Also, Sunday nights are always a bit of a bummer because it’s the end of the weekend, so I knew we needed a dinner plan that was fast, easy and delicious to tempt me to actually make it.

Enter: Meatball & Orzo soup. This is one of my husband’s all-time favorite dinners, which is saying something because he is normally not a soup guy. This one-pot meal cuts down on dishes, comes together (start to finish!) in just about 20 minutes and is delicious on its own or with some whole grain crusty bread on the side. It’s got a decent amount of vegetables too, so I would put it squarely in the “healthy” category. It’s a great way to end your weekend on a high note!

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1-2 stalks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 3 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach
  • 20 frozen meatballs, defrosted and cut into quarters
  • ¾ cup (dry) whole wheat orzo (if you can’t find this, substitute any 100% whole wheat pasta shape)
  • 1 quart of chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons of parmesan or other shredded cheese to garnish

Directions

  1. Put a large pot over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil.
  2. Chop & add to the pot: garlic, carrots, celery & onion. Sautee for a few minutes until they start to brown a bit.
  3. Add meatballs, orzo, stock and seasonings. Add an additional 1.5 cups of water.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, or until the orzo is al-dente.
  5. Add the spinach and cook for 1-2 additional minutes.
  6. Serve in bowls and garnish with cheese if desired.

 

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