‘Stoup’ is good dish for Fall

A cross between soup and stew, Rachel Ray calls this dish Spaghetti and Meatball “Stoup.”

A cross between soup and stew, Rachel Ray calls this dish Spaghetti and Meatball “Stoup.”

Robin McDaniel is a community columnist for Blount Today and writes the weekly column - In The Kitchen. Every week she prepares or collaborates on a recipe then cooks and photographs the dish for Blount Today. Robin must consider it a labor of love. You can certainly see the love and care she puts into In the Kitchen each week.

This week’s recipe is courtesy of Rachael Ray and the Food Network. It’s called “stoup” because it’s thicker than soup, thinner than stew. The days are getting cooler, so a soup/stew dish was in good order. It is a perfect dinner for chilling out in front of a televised football game. Have a loaf of crusty Italian bread for dunking.

The only change I made to Rachael Ray’s recipe was to add a shortcut by using the lightly seasoned pre-made frozen meatballs, found in the freezer section of the grocery store.

Have a few friends over and enjoy this “stoup” together.

Spaghetti and Meatball “Stoup”

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 small ribs celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 cups tomato sauce

3 cups chicken stock (available in a box on the soup aisle)

1/2 lb. spaghetti, broken in half

1 cup basil leaves, torn or shredded (I just used about 1/2 cup)

For meatballs:

1 lb. ground beef, pork and veal mix (meatloaf mix) available at butcher counter

1/2 cup grated cheese Parmigiano or Romano, plus more to pass at table

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, a few handfuls

1 large egg, beaten

2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

Preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and stock and cover pot. Turn up heat and bring to a fast boil.

While soup comes to a boil, mix ground beef with cheese, bread crumbs, egg and parsley. Roll into 1 1/2 to 2-inch balls. Remove lid from soup and slide meatballs into soup. (If using frozen meatballs as I did, just thaw in refrigerator and pour contents of bag into soup.)

Bring back to a boil, then stir in spaghetti. Reduce the heat and simmer soup 10 minutes more, until pasta is tender and meatballs have cooked through. Stir in basil and remove “stoup” from stove.

Serve with bread and cheese.

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