Because I just canned a large batch of my Italian soup base from the bushels of tomatoes and onions I was blessed with this year out of the garden, I immediately start to crave Loaded Tomato soup with Meatballs.
Talk about hearty! this soup has it all.
The Italian soup base comes with all the ingredients you need to start this soup off on the right foot. Which is basically tomatoes pureed (crushed), roasted tomatoes, and green peppers, cooked along with sliced onions, garlic, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and a bay leaf. I also add in 1 can of tomato sauce, 1 can of tomato soup, and tomato paste, water bath can at least 6 quarts jars, and you will have an ample supply to get you thru the winter months.
If you do not have the Italian soup base already canned, the slow cook process starts with the onions, garlic ,and green peppers all lightly sautéed in a fry pan on the stove, add this mixture to the crock pot to start.
I add add skinned roasted tomatoes, this really kicks up the flavor and I top it all off with Italian herb blend of oregano, basil and thyme, bay leaf, garlic powder and onion powder.
After this has simmered for 2 hrs in the crock pot, I add 2 cans of Italian tomato paste to add a final punch of depth and flavor.
I like to make my mini Chicken Rosemary and Garlic Meatballs, cooking them on each side, add them and a can of light red kidney beans, fresh chopped kale, (arugula if you can find it at the store) to the soup.
Grab a loaf of garlic bread, put on your slippers and go settle in for a movie and a hot bowl of hearty soup.
Lets hope the weather continues to stay cold, I am so close to devouring my soup!
Tomato soup with Meatballs
Italian Soup Base
Wash and oven roast the fresh whole tomatoes.
Slice and sauté the onions to a light brown color as they become fragrant.
Chop and add in the green pepper.
Add in garlic, stir well.
Add onions , pepper and garlic to the crock pot.
Add in the water, pureed tomatoes (crushed). tomato sauce, and tomato paste.
Add in all the spices, stir well.
Set on medium for 2 hours.
Make the meatballs
Make the meatballs Chicken Rosemary and Garlic Meatballs
Cook thoroughly, brown on each side.
Add to crock pot
Add in the Greens and Beans
Half way thru the cooking time rinse the can of beans, add into crock pot.
Add in the greens.
Cook for the last hour.
Whoever gets the bay leaf will have good luck for the year!