This is one of those "I only have certain ingredients so I need to figure out a way to make something spectacular" situations. I wanted soup because I was feeling under the weather. My husband (who doesn't eat veggies) will eat my tomato soup so I was trying to make a tomato-based soup with a little something more. I'm always trying to make dishes high in nutrients and flavor and low in fat and calories. I came up with tomato soup with mini meatballs and arugula, topped with croutons and roasted kale.
The soup base is the easiest part. Just follow the recipe for our Grandma Rosie's "Gravy" (see below) or use your own favorite red sauce. Once the gravy/sauce is cooked, add one large box of organic, low-sodium chicken stock and two bay leaves. Let simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat. You can stop here if you just want a great homemade tomato soup. For something more, I added mini meatballs.(Use the July 7, 2011 meatball recipe on the Cousins in the Kitchen blog. For a healthier alternative use turkey meatballs.) Follow the recipe, but instead of frying the meatballs roll 1- to 2-ounce-sized meatballs and drop them into the hot soup like a dumpling. Cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-high until meatballs are cooked through.
Top with your favorites. I use chopped fresh tomato, a scoop of fat-free plain Greek yogurt (or you can use sour cream), croutons (I make my own but store-bought work, too), a dash of hot sauce and, if you really want to impress, add some fresh arugula and/or a large piece of roasted kale. Fresh, healthy and full of flavor. I was feeling better instantly!—Jill
Grandma Rosie's "Gravy":
2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small white onion, sliced
1 parmesan cheese rind (you can use 1/2 cup parmesan cheese)
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 cup dry red wine
Puree whole tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Set aside
Drizzle a few teaspoons of olive oil in a large sauce pot.
Add garlic clove and onion. Sauté for about 4 minutes until onions are slightly translucent and garlic is cooked but not burned.
Add tomatoes and parmesan rind. Stir.
Add oregano, basil and wine.
Stir and let simmer for 1 hour on medium/ medium low heat.