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This Easy Flavorful Rigatoni Meatball Soup is sure to keep you warm and comforted throughout the cooler months of the year and your tastebuds will surely thank you for it. A great vegetarian option as a delicious weeknight meal or weekend addition, this soup boasts of it’s major flavor factor and comes loaded with rigatoni pasta, vegan meatballs, seasonings, bold tomato flavors and a hint of cheesy goodness as a topping! Slow Cooker, Vegan + Gluten-Free options.
This Easy Flavorful Rigatoni Meatball Soup brings such warmth and soul to your body with every spoonful, trust me ya'll. As SOUP WEEK on Orchids + Sweet Tea begins to come to a close, I couldn't be happier with the reception that all of my soup recipes have gotten this past week.
I hope that you enjoyed all of the array of flavors, textures, and ingredient combos that I created.
OK, so of course, the biggest question for those who have never made this kind of soup is, how do you make it anyway? Well, it's super easy! Personally, it’s all about using broths more than just fresh water, which adds a ton of extra flavor. My go-to brand for both chicken + veggies broths is Whole Foods Market or Pacific Foods.
The process to making this soup is achieved in just a few short steps:
Here's what you need to make this Easy Flavorful Rigatoni Meatball Soup at home:
I’m hardly one who leans towards store-bought frozen versions of food, especially when it comes to vegetarian and vegan options.
However, I love making my own meatballs. For most of my meatball dishes, I use quinoa and chickpeas. I know. It sounds a bit crazy since most people like to use zucchini or mushrooms or something else, but I find using both ingredients super easy.
When making my meatballs from scratch, I often love using quinoa and chickpea. From time to time, I’ll use black beans or another veggie, but these Vegan Chickpea + Quinoa ‘Meatballs’ are my go-to!
To make the vegan meatballs, you’ll quickly sautéing onions and garlic. Then, you’ll add the remaining ingredients until you have a nice thick dough. I like to use a scoop to shape evenly sized meatballs, but you can just as easily go by eyesight and use your hands to shape the cute little balls.
Then sear them until you have a beautiful golden-brown crust all over. Add them to the sauce and let everything simmer to perfection!
Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Rigatoni Meatball Soup. Everything from my fave baking sheet, dutch ovens, immersion hand-blender, mixing bowls, and more. SEE THEM HERE!
It's so important to use freshly-grated mozzarella cheese for the creamiest results in your rigatoni meatball soup. While you can use shredded cheese, it won't melt as seamlessly because it has a special "coating", which prevents it from melting smoothly. NOTE: If you only have shredded cheese, then I recommend adding it the soup while it's simmering in the last 5 minutes or so, stirring until melted and then topping it immediately after serving it into bowl(s).
To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container.
When it comes to thickening your soup, it can be done in various ways. Firstly, this Rigatoni Meatball Soup actually thickens from the past on it's own. However, for additional thickness or if you're making a larger batch with more liquid---here are other ways:
Many recipes use yogurt, arrowroot starch, potatoes, or other starches. For this soup I sometimes choose to use a few of the meatballs (using an immersion blender) as my thickener, which adds a nice texture while not being extremely thick. For the vegan option, you can use canned full-fat coconut milk as well, however, you would need to refrigerate it for 24 hours so that it thickens and becomes cream-like as well.
Leftovers can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, for optimal freshness. Can also be frozen for 4-6 months. To defrost, simply place soup in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature before re-heating on the stove top to serve.
Absolutely! To make this soup entirely vegan, simply top with dairy-free cheese shreds like So Delicious Dairy-Free or Violife for the best melting results. To make this soup GF-friendly, simply substitute rigatoni with a gluten-free version and ensure that you use GF bread or breadcrumbs for meatballs.
If you make this Easy Flavorful Rigatoni Meatball Soup, tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea!
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