Italian tomato soup with meatballs & vermicelli

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Here’s soup number 3 in my soup segment. I think this is world’s favourite soup. Kids love it, adults love it- it’s very versatile and healthy.

I make my variant with beef/pork meatballs and serve it with vermicelli pasta.. you’re allowed to serve it with whatever you want- cheesy croutons,garlic croutons,ciabatta or plain italian style bread is always a winner. Turkey or chicken meatballs are delicious too.. I’m however sticking to the authentic italian meatball recipe.

This soup is very easy, it does have a few steps though- best to make a day in advance.

Let’s get going:

for 6 people you will need:

soup:

8 large, ripe tomatoes – cut into eights

about 200g of  sundried tomatoes (from oil preferably)

1 can of san marzano tomatoes

1l of vegetable stock

3 onions – sliced

5 cloves of garlic

3 stalks of celery – diced

1 large carrot- diced

paprika powder

sugar

pepper

salt

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

italian herbs- rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme

1 tbsp of mascarpone cheese

italian meatballs:

500g of beef-pork mince

100g of grated parmezan cheese

1 tsp of ground fennel seeds

1 tsp of paprika

3 cloves of garlic

100 g of breadcrumbs

1 tbsp of italian herbs

salt,pepper to taste

1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp of chilli flakes

1 egg

start by cutting your tomatoes and onions into rough slices, and putting them into a roasting tin in a single layer. sprinkle them with salt, sugar, pepper, add a generous splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. add your garlic- sliced or whole, doesn’t matter. Add your italian herbs, and mix the lot.

Roast until the tomatoes shrink a bit,they’re a little charred, the vinegar has reduced (about 45min in 180C).

Once the tomatoes are roasted I put them aside to cool slightly. Then I heat up a tbsp of olive oil in a heavy-based soup pan, and fry off my celery and carrot for about 5 min.

I add the roasted tomatoes in, making sure I use all the juices leftover from the roasting tin. I add sundried tomatoes and canned tomatoes. I season to taste and cook the lot for about 30 min.

Once all the vegetables are cooked, I blend the soup , then I strain it, pushing through the strainer with the back of a wooden spoon,making sure all the goodness from the vegetables lands in the soup, and thickens it naturally. What you should be left with is dry looking pulp- 2-3 tbsp tops.

Your soup is almost ready. I heat it up one last time,checking the seasoning for sugar,salt,pepper and balsamic vinegar. The tartness of tomatoes will need some sugar to balance it out, so don’t leave the soup too sour! At the very end I add 1tbsp of mascarpone cheese and mix it through.. it will make the soup thicker and richer in flavour.

For the meatballs simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Be gentle on the salt, as parmezan is already pretty salty. make sure you mix it well, but don’t over mix.

Roll into small balls (I get 40 out of 500g) and fry off in olive oil until brown from the outside-and soft & cooked through inside. (about 10-12 min).

Lastly, I cook my vermicelli pasta- make a mound in the middle of the plate- serve my soup around it..place the meatballs and a spring of basil on top.

I hope you enjoy it! 😉

 

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