Tonight’s recipe is in memory, tribute, and celebration of one of the most wonderful women who has ever lived, my grandma, Nanny. She was the embodiment of strength, compassion, love, fierce loyalty, adventure, and wisdom. Simply put, she was incredible, she touched an immeasurable number of people with her presence, and she made everyone better for having had her in their lives. Today, on her 92nd Birthday, the Lord called her home. I miss her immensely already. She was the best.
Nanny absolutely loved to eat soup, and two of her favourites were Italian Wedding Soup and Roasted Tomato Soup. So, tonight, I am combining the two and naming it “Watertown Wedding Soup.” I wish I had gotten to make it for her.
Time: 45 Minutes
- For the Soup:
- Tomatoes (I used 4 medium ones, but add or subtract based on how tomatoey you want your soup and/or how much soup you intend to make)
- Chicken Stock
- Baby Spinach
- Israeli Couscous
- For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound of Sweet Italian Sausage (Chicken or Pork).
- 1 Egg
- Parmesan Cheese
- Bread Crumbs
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, line two baking sheets with foil, and give them a quick oil spray
- Wash your tomatoes, and place them atop one of the baking sheets. Stash this in the oven. They will need to be in the oven for probably 20-25 minutes.
- Turn your attention to the meatballs:
- Pull your sausage out of the casings, and put it in a large bowl.
- Add an egg, parmesan cheese, and some bread crumbs, and mash around with your hands until it gets to a nice meatbally texture (not too dry, but clumpable). Add more bread crumbs as needed in the pursuit of this end
- Form the meat into balls (roughly 3/4 inch diameter works well here), and put them on your other baking sheet, and then put it in the oven for about 3-4 minutes Then flip, and leave them for another 3-4 minutes.
- When the tomatoes are nearly done (skin will be peeling off, and they’ll have softened a bit), dice your onion, celery, and carrots (mirepoix!), and put them into a large soup pan with some hot oil in the bottom.
- When the tomatoes are done, pull them from the oven, and carefully peel them and cut out the core. Then, toss them in a food processor or blender, and puree with some garlic and basil!
- Put put your meatballs in with your (now softened) mirepoix, and stir everything around for a few minutes.
- Now, pour in your chicken stock and pureed tomatoes, and let everything simmer for 10-15 minutes. Start cooking your Israeli couscous at this point per the instructions on the packaging.
- Almost done! When your Israeli couscous is cooked, add it to your soup, and put in a good handful of (washed) baby spinach.
- Let everything simmer for a few more minutes until the spinach has wilted.
- Plate, blow on your spoon, devour, and enjoy!