My husband, who’s Dutch, has been begging for me to make this dish for over a week now. The ironic thing is that I’ve never made tomato soup on my own until now. I always relied on my mother telling me what to do; and it’s been a long time since I’ve made tomato soup.
Yup, you guessed it: I had to call her for her recipe. 😉 After speaking with her, I did a quick search on the internet to know if the traditional Dutch soup has any special spices or whether or not it is made with cream. My mother’s tomato soup is made with “hierbabuena” or mint; however, the Dutch version is quite basic, so I decided to keep it simple.
Well, I got my husband’s seal of approval, both on the tomato soup and the meatballs. However, he did mention that in The Netherlands, the meatballs are cooked inside the soup? I’ve asked a few Dutch friends for their versions of this, but I haven’t heard back yet… therefore, I’ll have to let you all know when I find out.
The truth is I’ve never fried meatballs before, until this recipe. I have a couple of meatball recipes already on the blog, one is a family recipe, and the other is for a Spicy Paleo Meatball Soup, where in both I cook the balls in the soup/sauce.
However, in my quest for the proper ingredients of the soup, I ran into the advice of Mark Sisson. And I have to be honest, I rather like the extra flavour frying adds to the meatballs and the soup. And as I said, I got a “Dutchie’s” seal of approval on the overall taste… so that’s a few positive points in favour of frying! 😉
(Yet next time I make this, I’ll try cooking them in the soup itself… I’ll get back to you on those results as well.)
The soup is delicious on its own and very easy to make. And while creamy, it contains no cream, not even coconut milk. So, if you’re not into meatballs, give this soup a go by itself. It can be accompanied by or garnished with pieces of whole, roasted vegetables, bacon bits, a drizzle of olive oil (or truffle oil, as a friend of mine suggested.. she’s the garnish queen, so I would take her advice!), a sprinkle of cheese (if you do dairy).. or anything with which you would like to pair the flavour of the tomatoes.
And as the Dutch say, “eet smakelijk”!
- For the meatballs:
- 800g minced/ground beef (or half beef, half pork)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons flaxmeal
- 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- some fresh parsley, chopped
- coconut oil or butter, for frying
- For the tomato soup:
- 6 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into medium pieces
- 1 celery stalk, cleaned and cut into pieces
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- parsley, for garnishing (optional)
- For the tomato soup:
- Place the olive oil in a medium-sized soup pot with the carrots, onion, garlic and celery pieces.
- Over low heat, cook about 10 minutes, until the carrots and onions are slightly tender. Stir frequently to not burn.
- Add the peeled tomatoes, water, and bay leaf.
- Cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
- Turn off heat and allow to cool directly on the stove top.
- In the meantime, make the meatballs.
- For the meatballs:
- Mix all of the ingredients (except the coconut oil) together, by hand. Do so, until well blended.
- With a tablespoon measure, scoop out the mixture onto a cookie sheet (covered with parchment paper).
- Once all of the mixture is scooped out, with your hands form balls out of each tablespoonful.
- In a pan, add some coconut oil or butter (about 1-2 tablespoons) and brown the meatballs, a couple of minutes on each side.
- Place back on the cookie sheet.
- Bake at 180C (350F) for about 20 minutes, turning over half way. (Also, if you have two cookie sheets, place one on the middle and one on the top shelf. Swap them half way as well.)
- The meatballs can be cooked completely in the oven; however, they will not be as pretty as with this method, since they do release some liquids. This can also slightly happen even after frying. Simply scrape that off, if you want a prettier dish. If looks are not an issue, this doesn’t alter the flavour at all.
- Back to the soup:
- Remove the bay leaf.
- With an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup.
- Pour it back into the soup pot. Add salt and pepper, to taste; and warm up.
- Add the meatballs to the soup, just before serving or in the individual serving bowls. (If they are slightly cold, you can also add them in the pot, while you warm up the soup.)
- Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil for a nice touch.