Tomato Soup

It’s almost tomato season! We have baby green tomatoes all over our plants, and I can’t wait until they turn juicy red. In the meantime, try your hand at this tomato soup. It makes a big batch, so it’ll be perfect for hot summer days when you can’t stand the thought of cooking another meal. Just warm it up and serve!

Tomato Soup

Based on Bon Appetit

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • fresh basil–about half a cup of packed leaves
  • 2-28 oz cans of tomatoes–whole, diced, or crushed
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ground black pepper

1. Melt your butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. By large, I mean large–6 quarts or bigger. If all you have is a 5 quart stock pot, simply reduce the amount of water you put in, or you will have a mess on your hands.

2. Once the butter melts, add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, 5 or 6 minutes.

3. Add basil. Stir until it wilts.

4. Add tomato paste. Cook for another 5 or 6 minutes.

5. Add the tomatoes and all their juices, honey, broth, and water. Stir. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 45 minutes or so. The soup will reduce substantially.

6. Remove from heat, and let the soup cool for a few minutes. Puree the soup in batches in your blender, or use an immersion blender to break up the remaining chunks of onion and tomato.

7. Stir in cream, return to medium low heat, and allow it to cook for another 10 minutes. Just enough time to make some grilled cheese!


Italian Wedding Soup

It’s not much to look at, but it tasted pretty great! This is a great soup to prep on the weekend, and then toss it together when you need a quick weeknight meal. As long as everything is ready to go, you can have dinner on the table in 20 minutes. No complaints here!

So, let’s do it.  We’re going to get this meal ready to go, stick it in the fridge, and forget about it until we need it in a couple of days.

First things first, make some meatballs. I’m partial to this recipe. If you already have some in your freezer, you’re golden. If not, just whip up a batch. While you’re at it, make two! Freeze the rest.

Next, prep the soup ingredients. If you have to make chicken stock (using a paste or bouillon or the like), make it. Also, dice your onion and mince your garlic. Put all of it in the fridge. Move the frozen spinach to the fridge to thaw.

Now, when you get to almost dinner time, follow this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. Toss it in the pot and go!

IMG_2380Serve with a nice hunk of Italian Bread. If you’re really ambitious, make it garlic bread.


Vegetable Soup with Meatballs

Growing up, we would visit my grandparents for a weekend every couple months or so. They immigrated from the Netherlands just before my mom was born, so I grew up listening to Dutch conversations and eating all manner of Dutch treats.

One regular Sunday lunch appearance was groentesoep met balletjes. Vegetable soup with meatballs. Many, many Sundays were shared with cousins, ooms (uncles) and tantes (aunts) over a steaming bowl of this soup. So delicious and simple!

Groentesoep met balletjes

Based on The Dutch Table

You’ll need:

  • 8 cups broth
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, including tops and leaves, diced
  • 1 head broccoli, diced
  • 8 oz ground sausage (like Jimmy Deans. Find it with the breakfast meats)
  • 8 oz. ground beef
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs. Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

1. Bring 8 cups (64 oz) of broth to a boil. I used bouillon cubes, but you could make your own or use a broth of your choice.

2. Add veggies. Continue to lightly boil. A variety of veggies will work, add what you’d like!

IMG_22143. While the veggies are cooking, make your meatballs! Mix beef, sausage, bread crumbs, and spices together. Form bite sized meatballs and set aside. Note: the combination of beef and sausage

4. After the veggies have been cooking for 20 minutes or so, add meatballs one at a time. Avoid dumping a whole plate of them in at a time, or they’ll all cook together.

5. Boil soup for 5 more minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through. Adjust spices as you desire.

Serve hot. Warm bread recommended!