Monday, November 17, 2008

Soup of the week
--American Meatball Soup

American Meatball Soup
Soup Makes the Meal Copyright 2001


¾ cup fine fresh bread crumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ pound lean ground beef
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups beef stock
1 ½ cups canned crush tomatoes in puree
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
You may also cook up to 1/2 cup of small pasta on the side and add. I added alphabet pasta.

1. To make the meatballs, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, onion, parsley, garlic and herbs together in a large bowl. Pour the egg over the mixture and mix it together lightly with a fork. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper and mix together with your hands to blend. Form into meatballs 1 to 1 ¼ inches in diameter and place them on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium-size soup pot or large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 9 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.
3. Drop the meatballs into the simmering broth. Cook at a gentle simmer until there’s no pink at the center of the meatballs, about 10 to 13 minutes. Serve piping hot, passing Parmesan at the table.

I checked this book out of the library. At first glance, I thought the recipes were sort of foofoo, but upon closer inspection I could see that they weren't that complicated. Most of them wouldn't suit my guys but this one was perfect for them. I was afraid that my son would be turned off by the peppers and I do think I caught him spitting those out but he told me that he liked it and he ate it. I think I would use carrots if I make this again.

This soup had nice flavor and it didn't take very long to put together. I made the meatballs earlier in the day so at dinnertime I just had to do a small bit of chopping and pretty soon we had soup. There were only a couple of cups of it left (and no meatballs - it started out with 25 meatballs!) so I'd say it was a success.

AND, we made it through the weekend without going to McDonald's. Not that my son didn't ask, but we managed to avoid it. This soup costs a lot less to make than a trip to McD's.

Would you believe that my toaster oven died on Friday?! I was cooking pizza in it and I noticed the bottom wasn't getting browned. Then I came back in and it was working full blast and you couldn't get it to do anything less. So I picked up this nice one at Costco on Saturday. I only paid $40. It's really nice and bigger than my old one. I can fit small casserole dishes and small baking pans in this one. I'm missing my oven a lot less but hopefully my new element will be here by the end of the week.

Question of the Day: Do you own a toaster oven? How often do you use it? I never had one until about 8 years ago when my sister gave me one when they upgraded. Now, we'd never go without one. It gets used quite a bit.


Anonymous said...

I have always wanted a toaster oven. My ma-maw used hers to make homemade biscuits and they were so good. I don't know which one to get though--heck--I don't even know what to look for in a toaster oven. I have read the reviews for several on Amazon but that didn't help. I guess it all comes down to personal preference. Sheila

Anonymous said...

"When it rains, it pours", huh? What's next, your stovetop? At least you got a really nice toaster oven out of it. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

No toaster oven here. I had one ages ago, but now I find that anything I make will work just as well in the toaster or microwave if I need it that fast. I know it is fast for broiling, but I never do that in small batches. Actually, I don't do anything in small batches, come to think of it...

Anonymous said...

I LOVE my toaster oven! I still don't use it as often as I could, but I love it to make quickie small batches of things like french fries, chicken nuggets, etc. It feels much more eco-friendly than turning on the big oven for a small amount of food.

Anonymous said...

I also love my toaster oven. I couldn't go back to having just a toaster because it is great for making toast because you can see how brown it gets. Plus it does a whole lot more. I have tried baking cookies though and that was a little less successful, I don't think mine has even enough heat control.

Randi said...

I grew up in Florida and EVERYONE had one( you dont want to turn on the oven to heat up a slice of pizza). When I moved to California, I always had one. Robin didnt have one until she met me and now she loves it too. We use it a lot.

Unknown said...

YES!!! I use it ALL the time!