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Don’t have hours to spend simmering a pot of beef stew? This meatball soup recipe packs all those cozy flavors into a weeknight dinner that takes just one hour to make. Sautéing the beef meatballs until they’re browned all over helps develop the fond on the bottom of the pot, which is key to building flavor. Meanwhile, giving the panko breadcrumbs a quick soak once combined with the other meatball ingredients helps them retain moisture, ensuring juicy meatballs every time—even if you choose to use ground turkey or pork instead.
Adding in mushrooms deepens the savory flavor of the broth while a few of our favorite freezer staples—frozen pearl onions and peas—round out this easy recipe. Have some other diced veggies in the freezer you’d like to get rid of? Toss ’em in. This is comfort food; it’s not supposed to stress you out. Deglazing the soup pot with dry red wine plays a big part in this comforting soup’s hearty, stewy flavor. Whatever you like to drink will be fine, but if you’re not sure, reach for a bottle of Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Shiraz. Then grab a loaf of crusty bread for dunking, ladle out a bowl, and relax.
In the mood for a different kind of meatball soup? Check out our recipes for Italian wedding soup; chicken meatballs in either a springy vegetable broth or a miso-rich tomato broth; or minestrone with ditalini and lots of Parmesan cheese.