Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Grilled Cheese and Tomato-Meatball Soup

It's slowly getting more fall-ish here in St. Louis. Not fast enough for me, but enough for me to start bustin' out the autumn recipes. This recipe kicks that off, and to top it off, it's a contest winner.

Well, it hasn't won yet. But it will.


To tell the truth, I'm terrible at winning things. I feel like I'm generally winning in life, but so far as prizes and money and fame go, I'm sub-par. Just looking at recipes on Pinterest in all their creativity and magical ways to use canned crescent rolls makes me feel like a rookie.

Maybe this will change that.

The contest is the 5th annual Dei Fratelli Ripened Recipe Contest, and the prize winners get free products for a year.

Free tomatoes for a year.

So much I could do! Marinara! Chili! Stew! Soup! Enchiladas!

OK, I'm going to stop now. Enter the contest if you think you can beat me, but don't enter it if you know you can beat me :-) 

By the way, the soup was delicious. But you already knew that.

Here's the breakdown:

For the soup:
1 28-oz can Dei Fratelli crushed tomatoes
28 oz chicken broth (just pour broth into
 the empty tomato can to measure)
1 lemon
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp both salt + pepper

For the meatballs:
1.5 lb ground turkey
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 egg

For the grilled cheese:
White cheddar
Optional: spinach, mustard, ham, avocado, etc.


1. For the soup: Saute the onion and garlic in some olive oil. Add the tomatoes, broth, lemon, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Let this simmer for 20 minutes. 
2. Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender and mix until smooth.

It kinds of feels like I should be boiling a pot of spaghetti right about now, but the ooey gooey cheese sandwich is making me hold off.

3. For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the ingredients into a bowl and stir until just combined.

3. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray generously with non-stick spray. I made golf ball-sized meatballs (is that right? I dunno, I'm not an athlete).

These meatballs are pretty sticky, but that's OK because they're turkey and you need the extra moisture to ensure they don't dry out. Just get them roughly spherical and bake. No need for precision here.

Bake for 20 minutes. Throw them into the soup to continue cooking on simmer for another 10 minutes.

4. For the grilled cheese: I just so happen to have a panini press, but it's not needed really. If you use a griddle, use a griddle. If you use a frying pan, use a frying pan. Your way of making grilled cheese is the right way. The more cheese, the better. White cheddar, fontina, or mozzarella work well here.

Fingers crossed, readers. I'll keep you posted.


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