Sometimes life doesn’t go the way you want it to…
And that was true for these balls!
They were supposed to go in one dish, then at the last minute I decided they weren’t right, so they were shunned and send to the freezer for “a rainy day”….
Then, one day, as it happens it was raining and I wanted something warm and nourishing. So I made this most delicious, quick and easy tomato and zucchini soup. But I was too hungry for just soup.
Ahhh, those balls sprang to mind and they were just perfect for the soup. It became like a lighter version of spaghetti and meatballs, but without the spaghetti, of course!
This is a most delicious, satisfying and easy to make meal, which can be made in parts (like I did) or all at the same time. If doing it all at once, start by making the balls and while they are cooking, whip up the soup.
Most likely there will be some balls left over, which can be thrown into a salad, stir fry or sliced into a sandwich for lunch. Or freeze them for another (rainy) day…
- 500 grams chicken mince (organic preferably)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 heaped tablespoons fruit chutney
- 1-2 tablespoons tamari
- ½ cup oats (or more as necessary)
- 1 large brown onion
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 medium zucchinis, diced
- 800 grams tinned crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups chicken stock (or a little more if you like your soup a bit 'thinner')
- fresh basil or parsley, optional
- Start by making the meatballs:
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- In a large bowl combine chicken mince, garlic, chutney, tamari and oats and mix together well.
- Using a dessert spoon, roll small amounts of mix (walnut size) into balls and place on prepared tray.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- For the soup:
- Heat a pot over medium heat. When hot add the onion and oil and saute for 4-5 minutes, until the onion softens and starts to brown.
- Add garlic and zucchinis and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the tomatoes and chicken stock.
- Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to simmer for 5-8 minutes, with a lid partly covering the pot.
- If you like you can puree, or partly puree (which is what I did, I just blended it a bit and left some chunks of zucchini) using a stick blender or your food processor.
- Taste and adjust if necessary.
- To serve, ladle soup into bowls and add as many meatballs as you like - don't forget to share if you have to! (we like about 4-6 each).
- Garnish with herbs if using and serve with some delicious crusty bread.
- Use leftover balls in sandwiches, stir fries or they can be frozen!
Are they are fruit or a vegetable? No matter which way you swing, tomatoes are incredibly healthy for you, so just eat and enjoy them! Of course they aren’t in season, so I use tinned ones, which are a great thing to have in your pantry at all times. Look for BPA-free tins. BPA is a chemical in that white plastic that lines tins and it is a hormone disrupter (not a good thing!). Some producers are starting to include that on their labels now which is great.
Back to the nutritional value of tomatoes. While they contain an incredible amount of important vitamins and minerals including beta carotene (precursor to vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, potassium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorous, the thing that really stands out for me when I think about tomatoes is lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant with incredible cancer-preventing properties, in particular prostate cancer, so all of you men should be eating tomatoes regularly. Interestingly lycopene is more bio-available (easier for our bodies to absorb and use) in cooked tomatoes – which is another reason why you need to try this soup! And when you do, please let me know what you think 🙂 You can read more about lycopene here