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Oops Soup for the Soul Recipe

Charlotte McMullenSoup is magical. That’s a lofty claim for any food, but for soup it’s true. Beyond filling a home with enticing aromas and hungry bellies with nourishment, this hearty comfort food creates positive emotions. Fortunately, soup is simple to make from almost anything you have on hand.

Last year, I made Oops Soup; as in “Oops, I don’t have that; I’ll have to use this in the soup instead.”

My husband was working away, and most of my kids had nasty colds. A big pot of simmering soup sounded like Heaven. The cupboards and refrigerator contained most of the ingredients for something akin to an Italian wedding soup, but some items weren’t recipe perfect. For example, instead of the little round, acini di pepe pasta, I had tiny star pasta.

pasta

Being winter with a house full of sick kids, I had no desire to travel to a store or even to be seen by my friendly neighbors. No, my creativity and the contents of my kitchen were making soup for my family – Oops Soup.

Oops Soup is more of an idea than an exact formula, so feel free to make substitutions.

This Oops Soup “recipe” may be easygoing, but do not assume it isn’t good for you. There are substantial benefits to being self-reliant; to not worrying about something being perfect; to laughing at any mistakes you may make; to learning tips to improve for the next time; and to taking care of others in need. This soup carries a spirit of generosity that feeds more than an empty belly – it nourishes your soul.

After I made Oops Soup, I learned others make this type of relaxed soup and call it Kitchen Sink Soup. Whatever you call it, it’s easy to love a no-fuss, one-dish meal that makes pleasant memories.

garlic press and small scoop

Helpful Soup Tips:

  • A garlic press smashes fresh garlic cloves up nicely.
  • A small cookie scoop (approximately 1 tbsp.) makes little meatballs.
  • Small meatballs cook right in the broth. Now that’s a time saver!
  • Stock up on soup staples when on sale. (Beans, Pasta, Broths, and Stock)
  • Use seasonal vegetables.
  • Make a double batch and freeze half.
  • Cuff a freezer bag over a bowl, ladle cooled soup in, seal, and lay flat to freeze.
  • When you aren't feeling well or need a night off from cooking, thaw your soup.
  • Host a soup swap. Everyone make a different soup and divide up evenly.
  • Make soup a meal with a side salad, loaf of bread, butter, and preserves.

Oops Soup

Oops Soup for the Soul
Use whatever you have on hand to make this comfort food.

MEATBALLS

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 garlic gloves, minced or smashed
  • Onion powder or the real deal diced small
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds ground meat (sweet Italian sausage, beef, or chicken)

SOUP

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or smashed
  • 4 cartons (26 ounces each) chicken stock
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups small pasta
  • 16 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In large bowl, combine all ingredients for meatballs. Shape into small meatballs.
  2. For soup, in stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery and onion; cook and stir until onions are tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  3. Stir in stock, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Drop meatballs into soup; cook, uncovered, 10 minutes. Gently stir in pasta; cook 10 minutes longer, or until meatballs are cooked through.
  4. Stir in spinach. Top servings with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

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