Diced Tomato Soup with Chicken or Beef Broth and Marjoram-Flavored Meatballs
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Makes6 first course servings or 4 main course servings
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, game day
Recipe Coursehot appetizer, main course
Dietary Considerationhot appetizer, main course
Taste and Texturecheesy, herby, meaty, savory
Type of Dishhot soup
- 4 cups basic brown beef broth (see step 1 of Basic Beef Consommé,) or basic brown chicken broth )
- Bouquet garni containing 1 small bunch of parsley. 5 thyme leaves sprigs (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves), and 1 bay leaf
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 12 ounces pork shoulder meat (or 1 pound pork shoulder chops)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped, and crushed to a paste with the side of a chef’s knife
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons salt for poaching the meatballs
- ¾ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
GENTLY simmer the broth with the bouquet garni for 30 minutes.
CUT each of the tomatoes vertically into 6 or 8 wedges, depending on their size, and seed and cut the pulp out of each of the wedges so you’re only left with the outer red flesh of the tomato. Cut the pulp into dice about ¼ inch on each side. Reserve. If you’re in a hurry, cut the tomatoes crosswise, squeeze the seeds out of each half and discard. Chop the tomatoes coarsely.
COOK the onion in the butter for about 15 minutes, until it turns fragrant and translucent but without letting it brown. Reserve.
IF you’re using pork shoulder chops, take the meat off the bones. Cut away any obvious pieces of gristle or sinew from the meat but leave the fat attached. Pulse the meat in a food processor or chop it by hand until it has the consistency of hamburger meat. Stir the onion, garlic, marjoram, salt, and pepper into the meat mixture.
Chill the mixture, covered with plastic wrap, in a bowl in the refrigerator. Roll the meat into 24 meatballs about the size of small walnuts.
BRING about 2 quarts of water to a simmer with 2 tablespoons salt. Gently lower the meatballs into the simmering liquid, partially cover the pan (so the parts of the meatballs that aren’t submerged will cook), and poach the meatballs at a very gentle simmer for 10 minutes.
HEAT the tomato cubes in the broth and arrange the meatballs in heated bowls. Ladle over the hot broth and sprinkle parmigiano over each serving.
2001 James Peterson