A bowl of tomato soup is delicious any time of year, for lunch or for dinner, for kids and adults. If fresh, super-ripe tomatoes aren’t available then this recipe for tomato soup made from canned tomatoes is the best one to follow. This homemade tomato soup has a rich, pure tomato flavor and silky texture. Like a much-improved version of Campbell’s.
A steaming bowl of tomato soup is one of life’s simple pleasures. The fact that this recipe is so easy to make with such great results is an added bonus. The soup turns out best with whole tomatoes (not chopped) because they have a flavor that’s most similar to fresh tomatoes. The quality of the canned tomatoes matters – choose a brand with a flavor you like and if you’re worried about BPA, stick with jarred or a BPA-free brand.
Served alone, this tomato soup makes a super-quick meal. But if you want to spice things up, drop a handful of spicy, mini-meatballs into the bowl, too. These delicious bite-sized mini meatballs are small enough to eat with a spoon (or by the handful).
This recipe makes a lot of tiny meatballs, close to 80, so you can cut the recipe in half if you like. But if you’re going to spend the time making meatballs, it makes sense to go all out. Extra meatballs can be frozen raw or cooked. Raw, frozen meatballs can cooked by dropping them directly into simmering sauce or soup. Cooked, frozen meatballs are best if frozen along with some soup or sauce, but can also be frozen alone and defrosted in the refrigerator.
Serves: 4 generous servings
Time in the Kitchen: Tomato Soup, 35 minutes. Meatballs, 1 hour.
Warm the olive oil in a wide pot over medium-low heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute for 5 to 10 minutes to soften the onions. Keep an eye on the garlic so it doesn’t burn.
Add tomatoes with their juice, water, oregano and salt. Simmer for 30 minutes.
In two separate batches, pour the tomatoes and liquid into a blender and add the basil. Puree until very smooth. A high-powered blender will puree the soup so it has the same thin, silky texture of canned tomato soup. However, if the texture isn’t smooth enough for you, then strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer.
Add salt and pepper and additional fresh basil to taste.
Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, keeping an eye on the garlic so it doesn’t burn.
Scrap the shallots, garlic and olive oil into a large mixing bowl. Add the ground meat, fresh herbs, salt and both types of pepper. Combine the ingredients with your hands.
Pour the eggs into the meat and knead the meat well to completely combine the egg. You can add a third egg if desired, but if the meat seems really wet then skip the third egg.
Refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes. This helps the meat absorb the egg and become less wet.
Preheat the oven to 375 ºF (190 ºC)
Use a measuring teaspoon to scoop individual teaspoons of meat in rows on a sheet pan. Once the meat is all measured out, lightly oil your hands and roll and pat/shape each scoop of meat into a tiny meatball.
Tip: The easiest way to roll the meatball is to place the meat in the palm of one hand and use the three middle fingers of the other hand to roll it. If the meat begins to stick to your hand, wipe your palm clean with a paper towel then start rolling again.
Heat an oven-proof skillet with a little bit of coconut oil over medium heat. Add as many meatballs as will fit in the pan and brown for 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
Place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking the meatballs, 5 to 7 minutes.
Or, transfer the browned meatballs to a sheet pan to bake and use the skillet to brown another batch.
Tip: The meatballs can be cooked entirely in the oven (without browning them in a pan first) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper but they tend to ooze out a little moisture and don’t look as nice.