Spicy Tomato Soup with Italian Sausage (meat)Balls

I am sure by now everyone in the grips of this cold, subzero weather is not only sick of hearing about it, but also sick of living it!   The heat went out again overnight.  The icicle formed on the outside pipe again sometime in the middle of the night.  We sleep with a small space heater in our bedroom – its toasty posty in there!  Here’s the thing though, I am super cold when I first go to bed.  Like all blankets chin up to my neck cold.  But, somewhere through my sleep like the dead sleep, I start to sweat and by morning I only have maybe the sheet on me.  So imagine my surprise when I turn the space heater off, the humidifier off, and open my bedroom door my face was slapped with a wall of cold air.  Like 43 degree cold air in our house!  It was 6:15 in the morning and there I was, putting on my snow pants, jacket, scarf, boots, etc. to walk through a foot of snow to whack the icicle off the damn pipe.  Oh, and did I tell you the temperatures had warmed up from the day before so it was only –14!

Luckily the roads are not bad by now.  Just an occasional patch of ice – although I have to say that it’s hard to tell a wet road from black ice, so I was very careful.  I got to the hospital by 7:30.  He said he slept pretty good, although they do check his vitals WAY to often for his liking, especially when he finally gets to sleep!

The breakfast he ordered looked really good actually – the seasonal fruit plate with vanilla yogurt and granola!

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I could only stay 45 minutes because I had to head to work.  I had my broccoli almond milk quiche with another skinny pork chop.  Um, I guess the hot sauce kind of got away from me!

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There was no way I could make a hospital visit in my lunch hour, so I finally hit the gym!  It’s been since December 31!  And while it’s sub-zero outside, I really wanted to swim.

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While it was arctic outside, the pool was super warm – I didn’t want to get out!  A quick 40 minutes and I headed back to my office.  One of the attorneys I worked with agreed to do the 21 day sugar detox with me.  Although because of the weather, she hadn’t stocked up on stuff.  I texted her the night before last and said “hey, I have spicy tomato soup with Italian sausage meatballs, would you want some for lunch?”  She replied “does a kid like chocolate?!”

This inspiration for this soup came from Justine at Cooking and Beer (very cool blog by the way – check it out!).  Although hers is a bit more complicated and has pasta and beans.  Oh, and I don’t do ground turkey either – see, I told you it was “inspired!”

Spicy Tomato Soup with Italian Sausage (meat)Balls


  • 21 day sugar detox approved
  • Ingredients for meatballs:
  • 12 ounces Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 4 ounces of ground sirloin
  • 3 tablespoons tomato sauce (I used 3 tablespoons of my veggie pasta sauce – recipe to come – promise!)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs (cheating!)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (um, you know I went with 1!)
  • Soup:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) organic – no sugar added – crushed tomatoes**
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups baby spinach


  1. In a large bowl, mix all the meatball ingredients together – using your hand to make sure everything is mixed well. I used a melon baller – love that for making small meatballs and an ice cream scooper for muffins. With that mixture I ended up with 32 meatballs. This recipe makes 4 servings by the way. I prefer to fry my balls in a touch of olive oil and Pam – over high heat so they get a nice crust on them, but I take them out of the pan because they will cook later in the soup. Once all the balls are seared, set aside.
  2. In a stock pit, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and red pepper and cook for 10 minutes, or until softened. I find that if I put a lid on my stock pot, they cook a bit faster, just check on them so they don’t burn. Um, not sure I know how they might burn?! Open-mouthed smile
  3. Add in the chicken broth, garlic, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, canned tomatoes and tomato paste. So this is a 21 day sugar detox challenge – **I had no idea that most canned tomatoes have added sugar in them! I paid a bit more (like .50 cents a can) before I found canned tomatoes that were in fact, just tomatoes. Throw the meatballs back in and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool. At this point, I made 4 separate containers. I put 1 cup of fresh baby spinach in each container, then 2 cups of the soup mixture and 8 meatballs per container. I like that when reheated, the spinach just got wilted and not overly cooked.

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I was happy that the tomato sauce really helped bind the balls together.  And get your mind out of the gutter with that last sentence!  Once the balls were portioned out, I just rolled them into balls.

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Such a perfect thing to eat on a super chilly day.  The balls added enough protein to make it super filling and the tomato soup was the perfect amount of spice.  And my friend at work gave it two thumbs up!

After a whirlwind afternoon at work, I headed to the hospital.  Tony requested dental floss, and while I had some in my gym workout bag, um, turns out some moisturizer exploded all over the bag so I had to make a pit stop.  I decided to get a better salad from the salad bar at Jewel – this whole thing, which took me like half an hour to eat, cost $5, including the balsamic dressing.

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Tony had a board on his wall in his room – each time a new nurse comes on call, she writes her name in, what the date is, when the expected release date is and what the goals of the day are.  The goals yesterday?  Restore INR levels to 2.5 or high and . . . GO HOME!  The only time I’ve been in the hospital was when I had my daughter and that was 22 years ago, and I was healthy.  I can’t imagine having to spend so much time in a hospital – and he’s had WAY too many days in a hospital to count.  Like I’ve said to people in emails and texts – 2014 can only get better from here!  I just can’t wait to have my hubby home.  It’s way too quiet here by myself.

Alright – off to pack my food for the day then head to the hospital before work – not sure how the day will go, but I will head to the office for at least a half day, maybe take a long lunch to bring him home – who knows.  All I know is that the time they say “we’re getting your paperwork ready for discharge” that usually means they will cut him loose 5 hours later.

Make it a great day!

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  • SuziCate
    January 8, 2014 at 6:55 am

    I have never had meatball soup, but it sure looks good.

  • Kim of Mo'Betta
    January 8, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Nothing happens fast at the hospital, but I hope Tony is home asap! The soup looks and sounds amazing. I’ve been wanting to make tomato soup…but today I’m making Hamburger Soup from Pioneer Woman since that is something I know the hubs will eat. And really, I’m just too lazy to make balls 🙂

  • Erica
    January 8, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Those meatballs look amazing! Glad things are going well for Tony!!! Always praying for yall

  • Helen
    January 8, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Nobody can rest in a hospital – hope he gets to go home today. That soup looks really yummy. Always looking for a new soup recipe!

  • Erin
    January 8, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Ooh, I will keep my fingers cross that he can go home today! That soup looks amazing. I might have to make it for myself and lunches – MAK and the kids don’t do soups. Like at all! I can get MAK to eat chili, but that’s about it!

  • JennM.
    January 8, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Crossing my fingers that Tony gets to come home today!

    That looks like my kind of soup! I’ve pinned this for later! Thanks, Biz!

  • Joanne
    January 8, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Looks like yummy soup. Never have had meatballs in a soup, so I may give it a try. I don’t do ground turkey either. Even though I love turkey breast, ground turkey just doesn’t do anything for me. I know what Tony means about not getting a good nights sleep in the hospital – always coming in to take vitals when you just fall back to sleep. I hope he gets to come home very soon, like today! Stay warm!

  • Jan
    January 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I am happy to hear that Tony is doing better and he can go home soon. You need his warmth around you. That soup looks yummy!!!!!!!!!

  • Shelley B
    January 8, 2014 at 11:04 am

    My mom had an entire door (to her bathroom) in her hospital room that the nurses would write on, and my dad loved to help them with checking things off, or making sure she got her walk (and he would note how many laps) – at least it gave him something to do while she was there, lol!

    Hope your next post has Tony at home. 🙂

  • Marcia@Frugal Healthy Simple
    January 8, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Boy that soup looks good. I hope you guys get to go home!

    Ugh, I’ve been working half days this week because our babysitter’s kids came down with the stomach bug. Trying to avoid spreading.

    Well, ugh, my husband came down with it last night. No bueno. So kids are at school/ daycare, I’m at work, and hopefully my husband is quarantined in the bedroom.

    Being sick is no fun!

  • Abbe@This is How I Cook
    January 8, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Those meatballs look totally yummy! Nothing ever happens fast enough when you need it too! But my wish is that Tony will be home soon and my second wish is that he will soon be well enough to knock the icicles off himself! We turn the heat way down at might but Manservant’s body is like a furnace and I get so hot in the middle of the night-but not for the right reasons!

  • Louise
    January 8, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Burrrr…..that was a shocker opening your bedroom door and getting hit with that cold!!! Well, it’s going to warm up by this weekend and in “10-15 day there will be another polar vortex headed this way” So said some weatherman yesterday. I sure hope he is WRONG!!!

    So here is a question….if this is “global warming” why is it so freezing cold?????

    Soup looks good “another must try” recipe. Last night I made a cabbage and diced tomato dish in bacon and drippings….oh man was that good. My stepfather used to make that….have had a taste for it…finally made it and I was not disappointed 🙂 Keep warm and good news about Tony.

  • Kim
    January 8, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I’m so glad that you got in a swim – I know it’s good for your mental health as well as making you feel better! Yuck to the thing outside that keeps freezing and making your house so cold.
    I truly hope that you get to take Tony home today!!!

  • Sherry Werth
    January 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Hopefully you will get to bring your Hubby home today!! I’ve been on a soup search lately and this one looks like a winner!
    70 days until Spring!! Stay safe & warm! 🙂

  • Laura
    January 8, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Fingers crossed Tony gets to go home today – he needs to catch up on his sleep!!

    The soup looks wonderful – I love tomato soup and the meatballs in it to make it a hearty meal – awesome!

    Today’s not as bad as the past few days (I like in the NW Burbs too), but I’m still wearing my longies, and I wish I owned a pair of snow pants!!

  • Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run.
    January 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    “Go Home” is a fantastic goal! I like whoever that nurse is.

  • A Life From Scratch
    January 8, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    yea for hopefully coming home today!!!!! SO happy he’s getting out of there!

    I can’t stop making soup. Suppose to do tacos tonight but I left the house to make a lemony herbal chicken noodle soup – we’ll see how it goes!

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes
    January 8, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Hope Tony gets to go home!!!!

  • Lori
    January 8, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Here’s hoping for good INR numbers!

    That soup seems like it would be amazing in this weather! I am so over winter already.

  • Fran
    January 9, 2014 at 3:38 am

    Here’s to Tony coming home today with you! Keeping my fingers crossed!

  • Renee V.
    January 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I’m not a hundred percent sure about ‘detox’ thing, but I wonder if you could use processed coconut or ground flax/chia/hemp seeds as the ‘binder’ instead of the bread crumbs? Whatevs, this looks yummy and I’m gonna try it! Thank You!!!