Soup With Meatballs and Baby Artichokes

If, despite your best intentions, you over did it again these holidays (I’m talking about eating and drinking of course…) and you’re feeling a bit blaah, soups are the best way to go: packed with healthy ingredients and vitamins, they’ll re-energise and re-hydrate your body in no time. That and a bit of exercise and fresh air and you’ll be ready to take on the New Year.
My wishes for 2011, health and peace on Earth and ... more comments on my blog!
To all my readers, whoever you may be, thank you for stopping by and a very happy new year.
Tried & Tasted Recipe

For the meatballs:
  • 350g of ground (lean) beef
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of dried herbs (thyme, oregano, basil…) or a handful of chopped fresh herbs
  • 2 thick slices of (white or wholemeal) bread, crust removed
  • 4 tbsps milk
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
For the soup:
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 or 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 courgette, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 300g shell-shaped pasta
  • 1 L chicken or vegetable stock
  • A small jar of baby artichokes in brine or oil
Start with the meatballs. Soak the bread in the milk for a few minutes, then add all the other ingredients and mix and squish with your hands. DO NOT use a spoon. Leave aside for a few minutes or in the fridge for a couple of hours, depending on how much of a hurry you are…
Using your hands again, make little meat balls. Put back in the fridge for a few minutes.

Now, make the soup. In a little olive oil, fry the onions, garlic and carrots. When soft, add the courgette, stir, tomato paste and stir again. 

Cover with stock and let cook for 10 minutes. Add the pasta shells.
Meanwhile, fry the meatballs in a little oil, without overcrowding the pan.
Finally, add the meatballs and baby artichokes and let simmer until the pasta is al-dente.
Serve as is with a slice of crusty bread or, for something fancier, with a drizzle of olive oil and some shaved Parmegiano Reggiano.

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