03.04.09: dinner.

Veal Meatballs

Veal Meatballs

Catalan Meatball Soup

Catalan Meatball Soup

Long ago, I became enamored with a Spanish Country cookbook while perusing a bookstore, only to bring it home and realize that too many of the dishes were out-of-my-league. Or so I thought. In the intervening years, I have re-visited it and many, many dishes later I can say it turned out to be a good purchase. Mini-lesson: if a cookbook strikes your fancy, get it, regardless of how difficult you think the recipes inside will be to make. Start with the simplest and leaf through every one in a while as your skills improve, your daring grows and your confidence builds.

This was one of the first recipes from the book, and I’ve since changed a few things but the idea is still there. this wonderful Catalan soup is a medium for the delivery of awesome mini-meatballs.  The mint and dash of cinnamon give the soup a unique flavor, but don’t be afraid, it may taste unfamiliar, but it definitely works.

For the meatballs:

  • Approx. 3/4 lb of ground meat (use anything you like- I think lamb or a mix will work best)
  • One small (or 1/2 large) onion, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • breadcrumbs
  • flour for dusting

For the soup:

  • 4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 4 Roma tomatoes chopped or one can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup kosher vermicelli noodles (i.e. fine egg or egg white noodles in your kosher section)
  • mint leaves, chopped

Mix all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Add enough breadcrumbs to achieve a consistency that you can roll (the shredded onion is watery), then roll into 1-inch spheres. Place meatballs onto a plate and place the flour in a hand-held sieve and dust them with flour. Shake the plate to shimmy the meatballs around will dusting to achieve good coverage. Place enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a skillet and fry the meatballs on medium-high until they brown and firm up, about minutes. Set aside on a paper towel to dry.

Bring the stock to a boil then add the tomatoes. Reduce heat slightly to a simmer and add the noodles. Next add the meatballs and continue to cook until the meatballs are heated through and the noodles are tender about 5 minutes. Garnish with the mint, serve with bread, Enjoy!

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