FOOD: Mediterranean meatball soup

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This week’s yummy recipe has a combination of juicy tasty meatballs, simmered in a light tomato broth packed with garlic and seasonal vegetables. This is a lighter version of the classic tomato sauce, pasta and meatball dish we’re used to, which makes it perfect for these warm spring evenings. This recipe has become an instant favourite in our house, and with simple everyday ingredients you can make it quickly and last-minute during your busy week. You can substitute the vegetables below with anything spare you have in your fridge — note fennel’s a fantastic addition, also. Turn soup into a healthy, filling week-night main with this tomato, leek and meatball soup recipe. Enjoy!

PREP TIME:  18 MINS

COOK TIME:  30 MINS

SERVES:  4 PEOPLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

MEATBALLS
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
400g pork mince
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup bread crumbs (soaked in 1/3 cup of milk)
1/3 cup flat-leaved parsley, chopped up
Salt and pepper

SOUP
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, cored and chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, halved length-way and sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, diced
1L chicken stock
2 cans chopped tomatoes in juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
Olive oil

METHOD

1. Place all the meatball ingredients in a bowl. Mix with one hand until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Take a tablespoon size of meat and roll into a meatball and repeat with rest of the mixture. You should make about 20 or so.

3. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add in the leek, red pepper, carrots and celery and cook for 4-5 mins, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic, oregano and paprika and cook for further 2 mins (do not brown).

4. Pour in the stock and tomatoes then add in the garlic salt and chilli, if using. Simmer for about 15 mins while you cook the meatballs.

5. Take a large pan and heat to a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the meatballs in batches till they are golden all over. They don’t need to be cooked through as they can cook some more in the soup.

6. Once all golden, tip into the soup and bring back to simmer for 5 more mins.

7. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Pour into a large serving bowl, garnish with the parsley and serve immediately with fresh crusty bread.

NB: If you want to make this meat-free, add in a rinsed can of chickpeas instead of making the meatballs. Also, if you’re too busy to make the meatballs you can buy pre-made ones, although they’re never as tasty as home-made ones!