Two weeks ago, winter seemed to be around the corner. Temperatures dropped drastically and I am still not used to the cold. Before I was lost somewhere in between wearing ballerina flats and freeze my feet off in the morning or putting boots on and sweat like hell in the afternoon. But since then, it’s all about shawls, socks and soups. For me, soups are the best dish to warm up and enjoy a cozy evening at home. This is a recipe of my grandma and it was the first dish I can remember from my childhood that I really loved even though it involves minced meat. Don’t get me wrong, now I love dishes with minced beef but when I was a kid I was not too keen on it. So here we go… get in the kitchen!
350 gr of minced beef
Lots of cut up fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, majoran, thyme or any herbs that you like.
Salt & pepper
Mix all together and make sure to use enough salt and pepper. Form little balls. Meanwhile dissolve a cube of beef stock in boiling water and cook the meatballs for approx. 6 minutes. Remove any white foam that might appear on the surface and remove the meat balls and set aside. Keep the water with the stock.
Tomato purée (concentrate) – for 1 liter of soup use approx. 150gr of it
2 tins of peeled tomatoes (280gr each)
The meatball stock
3 fresh medium to large sized tomatoes
Salt & pepper
Melt a spoon of butter in a large pot and mix in two spoons of flour so that the butter absorbs all the flour and you get a thick roux (base). Add more flour or butter if needed. Make sure not to burn it. Mix in the tomato purée and add the stock of the meatballs bit by bit, mixing it well with a wire whisk. Add as much stock that you need to reach a nice soup consistency. Then add the tinned tomatoes and simmer.
This soup wins with the use of fresh tomatoes. Take 3 medium to large sized tomatoes and put them into boiling water. Once the skin starts to crack and peel (this usually takes only a couple of minutes) remove them from the water and put them into a dish. Peel the skin off by using a fork and a knife. Once peeled, cut the tomatoes in pieces and add to the soup. Continue to simmer the soup until they are well cooked.
Use a hand blender to smoothen the soup’s consistency. Add the meatballs and let simmer for another minute to warm them up. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and herbs that you used for the meatballs. This is probably once of the rare soups that I don’t eat a ton of bread with. But it’s also great with fresh, crusted bread or rub a fresh garlic clove onto roasted bread.
If you don’t like the tomato seeds, pass the soup through a sieve before adding the meatballs.
Recipe source: Grandma
Recommended music while cooking this: the album ‘Sigh no more’ by Mumford & Sons. Energetic and soothing at the same time.