Sunday, March 21, 2010

End of Winter Meatball Soup with Kale

Serves 8


Originally this recipe was for Portuguese meatball soup, but I admit that I’ve jimmied it so much that it would probably be a genuine travesty to call it Portuguese. Nonetheless, it is truly delicious, and you should hurry up and try it because the spring weather is rolling in and there won’t be many chilly days left during which a bowl of this thick, flavorful loveliness will be just what you’re looking for!


For now, use your favorite meatball recipe. I’m really kicking myself because these meatballs were something special—the recipe came from the real-live ITALIAN MAMA of my office mate Sylvia, and I can’t for the life of me find the piece of paper that she scrawled the recipe on ! So stay tuned; hopefully it will turn up, or Sylvia will have the gentillesse to reproduce it for me. However, I'm pretty sure that her meatballs were fundamental to this soup flavor, so I'll tell you this: there was about a cup of finely grated parmesan mixed into the meats, and the balls were cooked with sauteed onions and bell peppers (I used yellow and orange), that cooked long enough that they nearly broke down into a light sauce. I put ALL of this goo into the soup along with the meatballs. Anyway, MAKE your meatballs, and set them aside until you’re almost done with the soup. Here are my Italian lovelies:



2 Tbs olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 C diced celery

1 1/2 C sliced carrots

1 large russet potato, cubed (original recipe said to peel it, but I like the taste of the peel so I just scrubbed it well and put it in as is)

6 C broth (I used vegetable and chicken)

1 lb kale, stems and center ribs removed, thinly sliced

1/2 recipe of above meatballs

1/2 C fresh Italian parsely, chopped

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil over medium low heat for 4-5 minutes. Add celery and cook 4-5 minutes longer. The deep flavor of the soup comes from letting these vegetables caramelize a bit, so don’t scrimp on the time here. Add the carrots, potatoes and broth. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes:


Here are the sliced kale and meatballs, ready to go. Add them to the pot and simmer 7 more minutes.


Add the chopped parsley and simmer 4-6 minutes longer until the flavor permeates the soup. Serve with some seriously crusty, delicious bread!


Even Sawyer liked this soup (well, parts of it)—and that’s really saying something.

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