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Pasta and Meatball Soup with Cheesy Croutons

GoodFood Magazine calls this dish a ‘substantial supper,’ and that is probably a far better description than ‘soup,’ for we find that even with doubling the amount of water added to the mixture, our bowls are filled with a savoury sauce more than a soupy broth. No matter, because certainly the result is delicious — no question — and really, Pasta and Meatball Substantial Supper just doesn’t have quite the same ring, does it?

We like to use a pesto-parmesan flavored chicken meatball, but feel free to use whatever you fancy, and likewise the pasta shape choice is yours!

Pasta and Meatball Soup with Cheesy Croutons

1 tbs. olive oil
12 oz. package ready-made meatballs
2 x 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1¼ cup milk
1¾ cup water
1 tbs. dried oregano
7 oz. pasta shapes
8 thin slices baguette
1-2 oz. English cheddar, grated
small bunch basil, torn

Heat the oil in a large deep pan and brown the meatballs. Tip in the tomatoes, milk, water, and oregano and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture thickens a bit. (The milk may curdle at first, but the mixture will smooth out as it simmers.)

Add the pasta shapes and cook for 10-12 minutes, until the pasta is just tender. Meanwhile, make the cheesy croutons by topping the baguette slices with the grated cheese, then pop under a hot broiler and grill until melted.

When the pasta is cooked, remove the soup from the heat and stir in the basil. Divide between bowls and top with the cheesy croutons. Serves 4.

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