Italian Wedding Soup

We have had family from Texas here all this week. I made them promise that they would not go home and tell that we didn’t have a home cooked meal here except for breakfast one morning. It is embarrassing to admit that, especially since I write this cooking blog and continually tell you how much I enjoy having company to cook for; but the truth is that we would run around all day to sightsee and by the time we got home, the last thing I wanted to do was cook, so we ended up taking them to several of our new favorite places. On Saturday night, we were all so tired from going all day, we ordered pizza. Today, we are back to being by ourselves and now it’s not as much fun to cook, just for two. Randy wants to know when it is “fun” enough to actually get a home cooked meal. He reminded me that I am always saying, “when we have company, it will be more fun to cook, because there is more than the two of us” but that didn’t work as we would just fall on the couch every night after touring Los Angeles with Don and Janece. Now it is back to the two of us and now it’s not fun anymore to cook, so guess I will wait until more company shows up from Texas. It  will surely be more fun to cook then.

Tonight, I had promised him a home cooked meal and this soup is a great way to, not only please my man, but so easy for me to fix. I already had cooked chicken breasts in the freezer and had bought a package of chopped soup veggie mix (the carrots, onion and celery) so how much easier can you get?

2 cups small pasta shells

2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes

2 tables olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

1 pkg frozen fully cooked italian meatballs (ok, this is where I have to leave this recipe) I just cannot buy meatballs, I love making them and they tastes so much better, homemade, but for convenience sake, I won’t tell if you use the frozen)

1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

1 pkg frozen-chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

2 cup chicken broth

2 teas minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teas dried thyme

1/2 teas each, salt and pepper

3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, when tender and set aside.  Meanwhile in a large skillet, sauté chicken in 1 tables oil until no longer pink; remove and keep warm.

In same skillet, sauté the onion, carrot and celery in remaining oil until tender. Add the meatballs, soup, spinach broth and thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 15 min and then add pasta. Add to soup and sprinkle each bowl with cheese.

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