This recipe came from my friend, Laura, and I think of her and our high school days every time I make it. She and I have a lot of things in common, but there are some things in which she and I are polar opposites. I still respect who she is, though, and I remember with fondness the common bond we share from our growing-up years.
Back to the soup: There are all kinds of ways to cut costs in here to bring it down from a $12 soup to a $6 soup. 🙂 This is a great soup to make the day before you need it, because it re-heats nicely. Plus, almost everyone loves cheese and meatballs.
The notes in parentheses are the things I do to reduce the cost.
2 lbs. cooked meatballs (You can buy prepared meatballs, or you can make your own, which GREATLY reduces the cost of this soup. There’s a meatball recipe below.)
2 cans beef broth (15-ish oz. each)
2 cans water
1 c. sliced carrots
1 c. cubed potatoes
1 c. chopped celery (I usually replace the celery with broccoli, and I add the broccoli when I add the meatballs.)
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 c. corn
1 t. hot sauce
1 jar Cheez-Whiz (I make my own version of this OR I just make a cheesy white sauce like I would for homemade macaroni and cheese. You will need about 2-3 cups of cheesiness.)
Bring broth and veggies to a boil, simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.
Add meatballs and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Stir in Tabasco and Cheez-Whiz just before serving.
Serve with more Tabasco, if desired, and tortilla chips. I also like to have a tossed salad with it.
2 lbs. ground beef or ground pork
1 t. Tabasco
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 t. dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste
Mix and shape into small meatballs. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes, or until done.
NOTE: Although the soup itself does not freeze well, these meatballs freeze beautifully, so feel free to double the recipe and tuck some baked meatballs into the freezer (which will make this soup much less time-consuming next time).