So this is a post out of desperation because my very favorite soup recipe, the one I've made about once a week for the past month or more, has been taken down from the website on which I found it and I have to try to recreate it here, where the link won't change, so that I won't lose it forever. It's a slow-cooker Italian meatball soup recipe and it is WONDERFUL. The best thing about it is that the meatballs don't have to be cooked ahead of time, so you can just roll them up and drop them in without dirtying a bunch of extra dishes.
The recipe went something like this:
For the meatballs:
1 lb. loose Italian sausage
1/2 c. (or 1 c.?) bread crumbs (I like panko)
A few pinches dried herbs: I like sage
A couple good squirts of ketchup to stick everything together (or sub an egg if you want)
A couple dashes of garlic salt and pepper
Form into meatballs and place in slow cooker. I usually layer them all around the bottom rather than piling them up. They won't stick together if you heat the broth as follows:
For the broth:
In a stock pot on the stove, heat together:
2 qts.(ish) chicken stock
2 T tomato paste
1-2 t red pepper flakes
Pour over meatballs. Cook about 6-8 hours on low in the slow cooker or 3-4 hours on high (depending on how hot your cooker gets - mine usually takes about 6 hours on low. When the broth is simmering you'll know the meatballs are cooked through.)
About 1/2 hour before serving, drop in 1/2 - 1 c. noodles (or 1/2 a box, if you're Paul. The more noodles you put in, the less broth you'll have. You've been warned. This is a great time to use crazy-shaped noodles: we like gemelli.)
Immediately before serving, drop in 3-4 good handfuls of fresh spinach. Allow to wilt before dishing out.
Die happy and go to heaven. Eat leftovers for the rest of the week until it's time to make another pot.