I am on a big soup kick right now. I make a big pot on Sunday for dinner and then I continue to nosh on the leftovers for lunch during the week. And the best thing about it is that soup almost always tastes better the next day.
My husband and I certainly have our family favorites, but I've been mixing it up a bit this fall and trying all new recipes. I'll often switch the recipe up a bit based on what I have in my fridge or cupboard or what looks best at the grocery store.
This week, I modified a recipe from Cook's Country Best Lost Suppers Cookbook (which is wonderful)...and I think the recipe is a winner. It's even fast and easy enough to make on a weeknight. Give it a try. I think you'll like it!
Tomato and Meatball Soup
Serves 6 to 8
2 slices of white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces**
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 large egg, slightly beaten
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb extra lean ground beef
8 oz whole wheat rotini pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, small diced
1 onion, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes in puree
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, place the milk and bread and allow to soak for a minute or two. Using a fork whisk the two ingredients to combine. Stir in the parm, garlic, thyme, egg, salt, and pepper. Add the meat and mix together with a fork to keep the mixture light and not dense. Wet your hands and roll 1-inch meatballs, placing them on the baking sheet. You should have 30 - 35meatballs.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cool water and set aside.
In the meantime, heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook an additional 5 - 7 minutes until translucent but not brown. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds until garlic becomes very fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and stock. Add the meatballs without stirring, and bring the temperature up to a simmer. Cook until meatballs are tender but cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add the pasta to the soup and season with salt & pepper to taste.
Serve each bowl with a sprinkle of Parmesan and julienned basil on top.
** I keep a loaf of white bread in the freezer and defrost pieces as I need them for recipes that call for fresh breadcrumbs.