During the cooler months, I like to send my kids to school with soup in their thermos' to warm their bellies. It can be surprisingly quick to send a hot meal to school with your kids. It takes very little prep work to make soup in about 10 minutes.
My girls' favorite soup, which they call meatball soup, is basically Italian Wedding Soup. Chicken broth, short cut pasta, mini meatballs, and spinach (or other greens). I make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them. So all I am doing in the morning is bringing stock to a boil and tossing in pasta, meatballs, and a veggie. I'll give you one of my recipes. I have several meatball recipes, but this is a good soup meatball and, if you make them bigger, they go well with spaghetti.
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb mild Italian sausage
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 TBS milk
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp Italian seasoning (sometimes I do fresh herbs if I have them)
salt and pepper, just a spidge (that's an actual cooking term)
Start by soaking the bread crumbs in milk, until it is all absorbed. Moisture is key in meatballs. You can see by the photo that I used panko style bread crumbs. They can create a super crunchy crust if you are making a breading. In this case, they swell up like big fluffy snowflakes. You can certainly use regular bread crumbs, or make your own by grinding up a few slices of bread in a food processor.
Next, mix everything together in a big bowl. Much like a quick bread, mix just until combined. More is not better here. The more you mix, the tougher your meatballs will be.
The day I want to make soup I bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Then add a handful, literally not figuratively, of a short pasta, like stars, letters, bowties... to the pot. Cook it per the package directions which is probably 8-10 minutes. Halfway through. I had 8-10 meatballs and some chopped spinach or kale. This makes 2 servings for a tiny thermos.
I like keeping meatballs in the freezer for just such an occasion, or making a quicker meal out of spaghetti and meatballs. There are a million meatball recipes and even more things you can do with them. You can change the meat to whatever is on sale. The spices can be changed to get a different flavor profile...think Asian, or Mexican. You can even just heat them and eat them as is! So make them soon. Then some morning when you just don't know what to send the kids for lunch...while the toast is toasting, make soup!