This simple slow-cooker soup makes a really satisfying meal for the whole family

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The slow cooker makes it crazy-easy to prepare a deliciously satisfying weeknight meal for a family, even when you have to be at work all day. This soup is a perfect example. Meatballs and pasta in a rich, creamy broth seasoned with onions, garlic and Italian herbs are appealing to kids and adults alike.
You can make the meatballs the night before, if you like, and stash them in the fridge overnight. If you’re really pressed for time, use a bag of party-size Italian meatballs. Combine the meatballs with the broth and seasonings, and cook for eight hours. Thirty minutes before mealtime, just stir in the cream, pasta and Parmesan cheese.
Cooktop Cove
Slow-cooker meatball orzo soup
20 minutes
8 hours and 45 minutes
9 hours and 5 minutes
1 cup breadcrumbs
3/4 cup milk
2 pounds Italian sausage, casings removed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken broth
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and milk, and let stand for 5 minutes to allow the crumbs to absorb the milk.
Add the sausage, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Form the mixture into 1-inch balls, arranging them on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the meatballs until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer them to the slow cooker.
Stir in the broth, onion, garlic and Italian seasoning. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Add the cream, orzo and Parmesan cheese, cover again, and cook on high for 30 minutes, until the pasta is tender.
Serve hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
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