The season for comfort foods like soups and chowders is here! Yay! There's just something about a pot of soup simmering on the stove on a cloudy, chilly day that gives you a good feeling. The sun in my corner of the world has been hiding behind the clouds for days and soup just seemed appropriate on this particular night. I served it topped with what I call pizza cheese (shredded mozzarella with grated Parmesan cheeses and Italian seasonings) and Almost Famous Bread Sticks from the Food Network for dipping into the soup. Delicious!
For the meatballs:
2½ lbs. 80% ground beef
¼ cup milk
1 cup Homemade Crouton crumbs
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
2 garlic cloves, fresh pressed
1 Tablespoon dry onion flakes
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground Italian seasoning
Butter, for browning
Combine the milk, eggs, crouton crumbs and seasonings in a bowl and let set for a bit till the liquid is absorbed. Add the ground beef and mix gently by hand (I wear gloves) until everything is combined.
With a size 100 cookie scoop form meatballs. In a large iron skillet melt some butter and brown them on all sides. Drain them well. Set aside. Pour the excess grease out of the pan but leave the bits on the bottom for de-glazing.
For the soup:
¼ cup Sherry cooking wine
5-6 cups water
4 teaspoons beef bouillon
3 cups Pizza Sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
*15 oz. can beans,
rinsed well, drained, and blended
Return the pan to the heat after pouring off the excess grease and de-glaze with the Sherry, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Dissolve the bouillon in the water and add to the pan along with the Pizza Sauce and brown sugar. Heat and stir till sugar is dissolved. Put the beans in the blender along with some soup liquid and blend until smooth.
*I would have preferred Kidney beans but didn't have any on hand so I used Pork n' Beans rinsed until no longer foamy. They added a pleasing flavor and just the right amount of thickness to the liquid.
Add the meatballs and heat through and simmer till good and hot. Serve with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Come on over and join me @