This week we’ve had “snow” (ice), and we’ve been sick, so soup seemed like the perfect thing to whip up because you can just throw a few things in a pot and let it cook itself. Meatballs are pretty easy too, especially if you have some frozen already, and with just a little effort you have a delicious meal.
This week I made meatball soup twice, in very different ways.
I don’t use any particular recipe for meatballs, but I do use kind of a base recipe. They should have some sort of ground meat, breadcrumbs to retain moisture, some sort of milky liquid like milk or yogurt, eggs to bind, plus the flavoring, including something fresh tasting, like ginger, mint or cilantro. I know some people don’t use breadcrumbs or eggs, and only minimally combine the ingredients, but I mix them to death, sometimes in the food processor, because I like the smooth texture and they always come out moist and yummy.
For the first meatball/soup combo I made turkey meatballs with panko breadcrumbs, milk (would have used coconut milk if I had some on hand), coconut flakes, cilantro, roasted red pepper, green onion, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Upon reflection I probably should have used just regular breadcrumbs instead of wasting my panko because it probably didn’t make much of a difference. I rolled them into mini balls and browned them, then finished them in a 400 degree oven while Zoeya and I danced bachata around the kitchen. When placed at the bottom of a bowl and covered with a gingery chicken broth with green onions and shiitake mushrooms they were phenomenal, salty and sweet and delicious.
The second combination I made the day it snowed; snow triggers some sort of tomato soup alert in my brain, so that’s what I made. Also, I had all the ingredients on hand so there was no trip to the store in treacherous conditions. I sauteed a few anchovy fillets with garlic and red pepper flakes, then added chicken broth, grated carrot, crushed tomatoes, fresh thyme, and some finely diced roasted piquillo peppers. Heavenly. For the meatballs, I had some kofte (Pakistani meatballs) frozen, so I just thawed and browned them. They are basically beef, breadcrumbs, yogurt, eggs, onion, garlic, lots of ginger and cilantro, and many spices, rolled medium-sized. I’ll write a detailed recipe eventually, but I don’t even know it myself; the first time I made them they were absolutely amazing, and I’ve been trying to replicate that ever since. Usually I finish cooking them in a spicy gravy, but this time finished them in the oven since they were destined for the soup. I made grilled cheese too, and this turned out to be a wonderful snow meal.