Weekday Salvation Soup (Easy Spinach & Meatball Soup)
My friend and office manager, Leslie Wengenroth, turned me on to the basic variety of this soup. I've altered it quite a bit over the years, but I've never met anyone who didn't find it comforting, filling and delicious. It is one of the easiest things I know how to cook, and it just hits the spot when people aren't feeling well or the weather is dismal. Throw the ingredients in a crockpot in the morning, and dinner is ready when you get home from work.
INGREDIENTS: (Using a 12-Quart slow cooker. Adjust amounts for a smaller pot.)
1 quart of chicken stock (or a couple of cans of stock)
1 quart of Water
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I like a lot, but you can use 1 or 2 10-oz cans)
1 can Rotel, Classic variety (Omit if you don't like a little heat)
1 package Baby Spinach, (approx 3-4 handfuls). (Try shredded cabbage for a nice variation.)
1 onion, chopped, or onion flakes (optional)
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed, or equivalent garlic powder (NOT garlic salt!)
1/2 to 1 tsp Cumin powder (if you like it)
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 20 oz bag Turkey or Beef Meatballs (I like Mama Lucia's Italian-Style Turkey, Mini-size, from Publix)
In a 12-Qt slow cooker, add the chicken stock and rinse the box or can into the slow cooker with an equal amount of water. Add the tomatoes and Rotel, again rinsing the cans into the soup. Add the spinach. I take scissors and chop up the leaves a little because I don't like stringy stuff in soup, but you can cook them whole. Add the onion and spices, stir, then add the meatballs.
Put the lid on the slow cooker and turn it on low for 4-1/2 to 6 hours. The ingredients, except the onion, are all cooked, so I set it for however much time I have available. Your slow cooker will keep it warm for several hours, so when you come home from work, dinner is ready. The soup is great with a grilled cheese sandwich but is filling enough to stand alone as a meal. As with most soups and stews, this is even better the next day.