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Tomato soup with parmesan meatballs

Ingredients

  • 750g large cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
  • 2 x 400g cans whole roma tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red bird's-eye chilli, seeded, finely chopped
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon torn basil leaves
  • Garlic croutons and grated parmesan, to serve

Parmesan meatballs

  • 1 slice white bread, crust removed
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) milk
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 150g minced pork
  • 150g minced veal
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 red bird's-eye chilli, seeded, finely chopped
  • 40g (1/2 cup) finely grated parmesan

Method

  • Step 1 - Preheat oven to 150C. To roast tomatoes for soup, using your hands, squeeze cherry tomatoes to remove seeds, then toss with 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl. Place seeded tomatoes, cut-side up, in a roasting pan. Drain canned tomatoes, reserving the liquid. Gently squeeze to remove seeds, then place in the roasting pan. Roast for 45 minutes or until the tomatoes start to brown around edges.
  • Step 2 - Meanwhile, to make meatballs, place bread and milk in a bowl and soak until soft. Using a fork, mash bread mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan over low heat, add onion and garlic, and cook for 8 minutes or until onion is soft. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Step 3 - Place pork and veal mince, bread mixture, onion mixture and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and season. Stir well to combine. Using damp hands, roll 2 teaspoonsful of mixture into balls. Place on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm.
  • Step 4 - To make soup, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepan over low–medium heat. Add onion, garlic and chilli, cover with a lid, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until onion is soft.
  • Step 5 - Add roasted tomatoes, the reserved tomato liquid, stock and basil to onion mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, then cook for 10 minutes for flavours to develop. Remove pan from heat and, using a stick blender, carefully blend the soup in the pan until almost smooth.
  • Step 6 - To cook meatballs, heat remaining 60ml (1/4 cup) oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Fry meatballs, in 3 batches, turning for 3 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Drain on paper towel.
  • Step 7 - Ladle tomato soup among warm bowls, top with parmesan meatballs, garlic croûtons and grated parmesan, and season with freshly ground black pepper to serve.

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