With the weather we have been having this week, my mind and my stomach are craving some soup.  A warm hug, steaming up my glasses and warming my insides.  That is what I am talking about.  Back in the day, when I was a little kid, I did not like tomato soup.  I know!  What kid doesn’t like Campbells tomato soup?  That is what the commercials try to tell us, but true story,  I could not stomach the stuff.  If it was chicken noodle, then I was in, but the canned tomato soup just didn’t taste like tomatoes to me.

More recently, as an adult, I pride myself on getting to know the foods I don’t like.  I once spent a month eating cottage cheese and fruit for breakfast until I “acquired” the taste for the curded cheese.  It is a fun game of forcing myself to like things that my taste buds are just saying no to.  You should try it some time.  I’ve got myself to also like olives and blue cheese.  Y’all can throw a new challenge my way at anytime, but make it reasonable!

Anyways, I finally got my self to like tomato soup.  All I had to do was make it from scratch.  Now I am a huge fan of the stuff and my recipe is just as easy as popping open a can of Campbells and warming it.  Sorry Campbells, but I gotta get people to make their own soup out there.  That salt commercial you got, just isn’t that appetizing.  I know there is a heck load still in that tiny can…

As for the mini meatballs, that is typical Dutch as the Dutch would say.  I had never found a meatball in soup until I ate soup at a hotel in Holland when I was here for a world cup.  I must say, it is quite tasty and fits on the spoon just right.  Nothing beats the combo of tomatoes and meatballs (think spaghetti and meatballs), so this is just a natural combo.  Adding the meat also takes this soup into the main course category.  Now all you need is some bread on the side and that is coming up in my next installment!

Tomato Soup with Mini Meatballs – my own invention

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp butter

1 onion, roughly chopped

3 sticks celery, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 medium sized cans of whole tomatoes or 1 large monster can

water

1 bunch fresh basil

Meatballs:

150g ground beef or pork

salt and pepper 

Start by heating up the oil and butter together.  Toss in the onion and celery and soften them up.  Add the garlic when the onions are almost clear.  You don’t want to over cook the garlic because it will get bitter.  Dump in the cans of whole tomatoes (I heard that whole tomatoes are only cooked once before canning, but diced are cooked twice, that means that the whole ones have more of their fresh flavour).  Take the empty can and fill it three times with water and add it to the soup (1.5 times if you are using one big can).  Add salt and pepper. This will need quite a bit of salt since we just used water, but now you see that we are controlling the amount of salt going in.  Brilliant, right?

This is your soup.  Let it simmer for as long as you have time for.  Tonight I let it simmer for 30 minutes, some nights as soon as it is boiling I am moving to the next step.  Next step, take a handheld blender and whiz all this up.  Leave it a bit chunky for texture, but this is why we get to just roughly chop.  Brilliant, right?

Now make up the mini meatballs and toss them in one at a time.  Think small grape when you are making them.  Gently stir and make sure the meatballs are cooked through.  Takes about 5 minutes.  Right before serving, tear up some basil and toss it right into each bowl.  Trust me this is some good fresh tasting tomato soup!

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