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Little Meatball Soup



One thing I have always loved doing it just going into my cupboard or larder, or freezer and seeing what I have available to throw together a delicious meal for us.


Its just something that I have always done and something that I enjoy.  I see it as a challenge that I am very happy to rise to!


There used to be a show on the telly when I first moved over here on which celebrity Chef's would race against the clock to create several delicious dishes from the ingredients in a bag brought to the show by the contestants.  Two contestants, two chefs and an allotted period of time in which to accomplish said challenge.



At the end of the time period, the contestants would taste and comment on the chef's dishes and the audience would vote on which chef had produced the tastiest dishes.  I'm probably not explaining it very well, but hopefully you get the picture.  The show was called Ready Steady Cook. 



Of course there was a vast store cupboard of basic ingredients available to put together with the ingredients in the bag! 


So today I took a package of macaroni, a tin of tomatoes, some stock cubes and a pound of Italian sausage and challenged myself to come up with something tasty.


Of course I could have just done the basic, and skinned the sausage and crumbled it into a sauce with the tomatoes, and mixed that into cooked macaroni and baked it.  I am sure that would have been quite tasty too . . .  but instead this is what I did. 




I cooked the macaroni, rinsed and set it aside.   



I skinned the sausage and shaped it into tiny meatballs   . . .


With the tinned tomatoes, I added fresh minced onions and garlic and a few seasonings to create a chunky tomato soup broth. Use a good quality tinned tomato. This is one of the main ingredients so you want a tinned tomato with a great flavour.  For me that is always Cirio tomatoes and tomato puree.  Fresh from the vine flavours  . . .


I poached the little sausage meatballs in the tomato broth  . . .


And then I threw in the cooked macaroni and heat it through . . .


Ladled into hot soup bowls with a smattering of grated Parmesan cheese scattered over top, it went down a real treat on this cold . . .  wet . . .  wet . . . day.  Crusty bread on the side is a must.

Yield: 4 - 6

Little Meatball Soup

prep time: 10 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 30 mins
There are no two ways about it, this is one delicious bowl of soup!  Serve with some crusty bread for a hearty meal that will please the whole family!

ingredients:


  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
For the soup:
  • 230g dry macaroni (2 cups)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and minced
  • 2 TBS tomato puree (tomato paste)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • 2 (400g) tins of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice, undrained (28 ounces)
  • 950ml chicken stock (4 cups)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 45g grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
  • chopped fresh basil (a good handful, about 1/4 cup)

instructions:



  1. Remove the casings from the sausages.  Using wet hands, shape
    the meat  into 1/2 inch in diameter sized meatballs.  Set aside in a cool
    place.

  2. Cook the macaroni as per package instructions in  a
    large pot of salted water.  Drain well.  Rinse in cold water and drain
    again.  Set aside.

  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onions.
    Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, without browning. Stir in
    the tomato puree, garlic, and thyme.  Cook until very fragrant.  Add the
     tomatoes and broth.  Add the meatballs and cook at a simmer, without
    stirring, until the meatballs are tender and cooked through, about 15 to
     20 minutes.  Stir in the pasta.  and season with salt and black pepper
    to taste. 

  4. Spoon into heated bowls, topping each serving with some Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
Created using The Recipes Generator



What would you make if you had the same ingredients to work with . . .  a tin of tomatoes, a pound of Italian sausage and a package of macaroni?  I would love to know!  Bon Appetit! 



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Marie Rayner
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