Mushroom Meatball Soup

1 pound mini cooked meatballs (approx. 36)*
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
12 cups reduced sodium beef broth
1 1/2 pounds sliced fresh mushrooms
4 ounces Parmesan cheese
Snipped fresh parsley, optional garnish

Do Ahead:

1. As needed, prepare meatballs and cook according to recipe or package directions.* Refrigerate until ready to use (up to 5 days), or freeze for later.

2. Sauté chopped onion in butter until soft and transparent. Stir flour into onions and continue to cook over low heat 1-2 minutes; stirring. Refrigerate until ready to use (up to 5 days), or continue with recipe.

Last Minute Prep:

1. In 3 quart saucepan or Dutch oven, warm onions and flour; gradually stir broth into onions. Add cooked meatballs and sliced fresh mushrooms; bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer 5 minutes.

2. Top with grated or shaved Parmesan cheese. Garnish with snipped fresh parsley.

Serve this easy make-a-head soup for quick holiday dinner or as a delightful addition to a holiday party buffet. Recipe serves 12

* Meatballs may be purchased commercially or, use recipe below. Meatball recipe was demonstrated on KSL TV Studio 5, November 3, 2006. Makes 72 meatballs (approximately 2 pounds mini meatballs)
Half the time of cooking is spent in set-up and clean-up. Save time by making a double or triple batch at one time. Freeze cooked meatballs in batches of 1 pound each. Freeze in quart freezer bags; label and date freezer containers. When ready to use, thaw and use meatballs in favorite recipes.

2 pounds ground meat
1/2 cup crumbs
2 tablespoons dried onion
1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
1-2 teaspoons seasoning, optional

Preheat oven to 4000 F. Line large cooking sheet with parchment, or lightly grease.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Shape into 72 (1-inch) meatballs. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake approximately 25 minutes or until cooked through. Freeze meatballs for quick dinner later or use immediately. Approximately 36 (1-inch) meatballs equal 1 pound.

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