Garlic and basil meatballs for soup
The one thing I wished I'd done differently with our purchase of a quarter of a pastured cow was
to ask for more stew beef. I should have realized that most
Americans would vastly prefer ground meat to stew meat, so nearly all of
the tougher cuts showed up in our freezer ground. But ground meat
doesn't make a very good fit for adding protein to soup...unless you
turn it into meat balls!
You can season your meatballs any way you want, but I decided this combination of flavors worked well with our tomato-based harvest-catch-all soups. Ingredients include:
- 1 pound of ground beef (low fat content is better)
- 1 small egg (this is a great use for pullet eggs)
- 0.25 cups of parmesan
- 1 well-packed cup of fresh basil leaves
- 1 to 3 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste buds)
- salt and pepper
If you're using a food processor, just throw a chunk of parmesan, the
basil, and the garlic in and whir the ingredients around until they're
cut into tiny pieces. Otherwise, start by cutting up the basil,
mincing the garlic, and grating the parmesan. Either way, you next
add the egg (I was making a double recipe in the photo above, thus the
two pullet eggs instead of one) and the salt and pepper. Wash your
hands well, then turn the meat into the bowl with the seasonings and
work them together until they're well mixed.
Roll out the meat mixture into small balls and set them on a plate in
the fridge for half an hour for the flavors to meld. Then heat a
little bit of oil in a skillet over medium high heat and place the
meatballs in the pan. Once the bottoms begin to brown, turn the
meatballs over and cook until the other side is brown as well.
(The meat in the center of the balls will still be uncooked at this
point.) Finally, make sure your pot of soup is at a gentle simmer
and plop in the meatballs to finish cooking in the soup broth, a process
that takes about ten more minutes. Cut a meatball open to make
sure the centers are brown before serving.
This recipe makes
enough meatballs to add protein and oomph to 1.5 gallons of hearty soup
if you're an average American. Before I met Mark, I probably would
have made the meatballs smaller and used this recipe for 3 gallons of
soup; and before Mark met me, he probably would have doubled this recipe
to use in 1.5 gallons of soup, so use your own judgment. No
matter which proportion you use, these meatballs will spice up your soup
and turn it into a full meal!
to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the
RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.