The washing machine repair guy was here this morning and he says we need a new timer so we'll be without a washing machine (ACK!) for a week while the old timer is being fixed (thus saving us $100). I will be paying timely visits to friends and family in the area during the next week.
After a two-week hiatus from WCW, I'm back. Last we cooked, I was pulling recipes from the pages of Eat, Shrink and Be Merry by Janet and Greta Podleski. I have at least a couple of weeks left in this book. I might even extend it to publicly try out a few more before moving on to another cookbook.
Today was a soup day. Sure, the sun was shining but the wind was chilly and the temperature hovered around 12 degrees. A while back, my chiropractor told me she loved the soup recipe below from EDandBM. Today was my day to test it out.
Rome on the Range (Roasted tomato and red pepper soup with mini meatballs)
8 large plum tomatoes (about 2 lbs)
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp each minced fresh thyme and fresh rosemary (or 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning)
2 cups beef broth, divided
1 cup V8 juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves or 2 tsp dried
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp each salt, freshly ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes
12 oz (340 grams) extra-lean ground beef
1/4 cup minced onions
1/4 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450F. Coarsely chop tomatoes and combine with red peppers, onion, garlic, olive oil, thyme, and rosemary in a very large roasting pan or on a very large rimmed baking sheet. It's best if veggies are in a single layer. (I roasted these on convection at 400F so was able to put in two trays at a time.)
Place roasting pan in oven on middle rack and roast veggies for 15 minutes. Remove vegetables from oven and give them a quick stir. Return pan to oven on middle rack and turn on the broiler. Broil veg for 10 minutes (so they say. I took them out at 6 minutes. If I'd left them for 10 they would have been burnt).
Meanwhile, prepare meatballs. Combine all meatball ingredients in medium bowl and mix well. Using your hands works best. Form 48 or so mini meatballs using 1 tsp or so of meat mixture per ball. Set aside.
Remove veg from oven. Transfer half the veg to a blender or food processor, along with 1 cup beef broth, and puree until smooth. Transfer pureed veg to a large soup pot. Chop remaining veg into bite-sized pieces and add to pot along with remaining beef broth, V8, basil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, s&p, and crushed red pepper (which I didn't use due to small kids who have not yet developed the palette for hot peppers in any form). (I put all the veg in the food processor and processed until well chopped but not totally smooth. There were still little chunks. This saved time and I really liked the texture.) Bring soup to a boil. Add meatballs. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve with a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan for extra pizazz.
This was a winner in my books. The taste is really nice, although I think it would be even better with fresh basil, which I didn't have. I really, really liked it. It had lots of flavour, was fairly easy and really warmed me up on a cool day. I loved the little meatballs in there. I had two bowls.
This was not a winner for Emily or Hope. Hope refused to try it (she generally shuns all soups) and Emily tried a bite, declared it good but then refused to eat any more.
Eh, what do they know?