Middle Eastern Meatball and Vegetable Soup
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Credit: Faye Levy, Author: 1,000 Jewish Recipes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000); and Healthy Cooking for the Jewish Home: 200 Recipes for Eating Well on Holidays and Every Day (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2008)
The National Culinary Review, September 2015
7 cups water + more, if needed
Salt, to taste
2 medium potatoes, peeled, cut in chunks
½-1 cauliflower, divided into medium florets
2 carrots, sliced
2 green or yellow squash, halved, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1-2 small celery ribs, diced
1-2 T. chopped gingerroot
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Parsley stems, as needed
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. turmeric, divided
1 t. ground pepper, divided
¾ lb. lean ground beef
¼ cup chickpea flour
1 small onion, coarsely grated (about ½ cup)
2 T. finely chopped parsley
½ t. salt
2 cups baby spinach leaves or coarsely chopped large spinach, stems removed
3-4 T. chopped green onion
1) In stew pan, bring 7 cups water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add potato chunks; cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Add cauliflower and sliced carrots; return to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes. Add squash; return to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes, or until all vegetables are just tender. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon.
2) Add chopped onion, diced carrots, celery, gingerroot, garlic and parsley stems to vegetable cooking liquid. Bring to a boil. Cover; simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add cumin, ½ t. turmeric and ½ t. pepper.
3) In medium bowl, combine ground beef, chickpea flour, grated onion, chopped parsley, salt, ½ t. pepper and ½ t. turmeric. Knead until thoroughly mixed. Shape mixture into meatballs, 1 T. for each one. Add one by one to simmering soup. If not enough broth to cover meatballs, add ½-1 cup hot water, pouring near side of pan. Cover; cook meatballs over low heat for 45 minutes, or until soup is well-flavored. If soup is too thin, uncover for last 15 minutes of cooking; if too thick, gradually add ¼-½ cup hot water.
4) Just before serving, add spinach to soup; heat for 1 minute, or until wilted. Return cooked vegetables to soup. Taste; adjust seasoning. Serve soup sprinkled with chopped green onion.
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