This recipe first appeared in McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection, which was a substantial collection of recipes dating back to the 1970’s. We subscribed to this collection somewhere back in the 80’s and every few weeks we would get some new recipe cards in the mail. They always had a great photo on the front of the card, and the recipe itself on the back. For a while we had quite a collection, but over the years (way before I began to keep recipes in pdf format on my Google drive), they got scattered, some were lost, I still have one or two around somewhere. Fortunately there are still some of these great recipes available, for example, at this site online, Vintage Recipe Cards – “Dinner Just Like Mom Used To Make.”
Sunday Supper Soup, which is essentially a meatball soup, was always one of my favorites, and this particular recipe was first published circa 1973. This was recipe card #22C, and was part of a set of three recipe set of cards called “Sundays at Home.”
SUNDAY SUPPER SOUP
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1+30
Total Time: 2+00
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
1 1/2 lb. ground chuck
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. butter or margarine (for sauteing meatballs)
FOR THE SOUP:
2 cups water
1 (10 1/2 oz.) condensed beef broth, undiluted
1 (1 lb. 12 oz.) can tomatoes, undrained, broken up
1 (1 3/8 oz.) envelope dry onion soup mix
2 cups (4-5) sliced pared carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery tops
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 bay leaf
Additional chopped fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)
TO MAKE THE MEATBALLS:
In medium bowl, combine beef, bread crumbs, egg, 3 tablespoons water, parsley and salt. Mix lightly.
Using your hands lightly shape into 24 meatballs. Or, you can use the “meatball square method,” described below:
The ideal size and shape is perfectly round and about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Use the “Meatball Square Method” to ensure each meatball is of equal size and weight.
Press meat into a rectangle on a cutting board.
Cut into even squares using a small sharp knife. With 24 oz of beef, you should divide into 24 squares, each meatball will be 1 oz.
Roll each square individually by hand and set aside.
Melt butter in 4-quart Dutch oven on medium-high heat.
Saute meatballs a single layer at a time until brown on all sides.
Turn them “tenderly” as they will tend to crumble a bit until they begin to brown.
Set meatballs aside; drain off fat.
TO MAKE THE SOUP:
In the same Dutch oven, combine the ingredients for the soup:
Add 2 cups water
Add the beef broth
Add the tomatoes
NOTE: Some prefer to leave tomatoes whole, as they will break up somewhat during the cooking process. I like to break them up first, then add them to the mixture.
Add the onion soup mix
Add the carrots
Add the celery tops
Add the parsley
Add pepper, oregano, basil, bay leaf.
Stir ingredients together
Bring mixture to boiling, then reduce heat, and simmer covered for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to break up tomatoes if you didn’t break them up in an earlier step.
Gently add meatballs, re-cover, and simmer 20 minutes longer.
Serve in tureen or individual bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley or celery tops, if desired.
Recommended accompaniments: Warm French Bread & Butter – or- Garlic Bread
Makes approximately 2 quarts, about 4-6 servings, depending on size. You know they’re going to want seconds…but…if you do have leftovers, the soup will keep well in your fridge for 7-10 days, and also freezes well.
Recipe adapted from McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection, 1973, Sundays at Home – Card #22c. You can view the original recipe card at Vintage Recipe Cards