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I love soup and right now I seem to be on a soup kick. Often, I like to invent one as I go along and sometimes end of making something wonderful. This was one of those times. I had intended on making just a typical Greek lemon soup and decided to add in kale and mini meatballs. The flavor came out better than I could have expected. I even felt inclined to bring some into my office mate. I only wish my Grandma could have tasted it. Maybe I will bring some next time I visit 🙂

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For the soup you will need:

  • 16 cups of chicken and/or veggie broth (if you are buying it, it is 4 boxes)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Chicken soup base (4 TBS for added flavor)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 cups of fresh kale, you can buy this in a bag ready to go in produce
  • 2 cups of frozen spinach drained and squeezed
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed and diced
  • 2 cups of orzo pasta or 2 cups of basmati rice or both!! (I did one cup of each)

Meatball ingredients below: If you have a favorite frozen brand you would rather use for a shortcut, those will work just fine as well.

  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground chicken
  • 1 cup plain panko or bread crumbs
  • 1 smashed and minced garlic clove or 1 tsp powdered garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs Pepper

So first things first, lets make the meatballs.  Add beef and chicken, egg, salt, pepper and garlic with the bread crumbs into a large mixing bowl.  Get in there and mix it well. I called upon the hubby to mix this for me. 🙂

When everything is combined, start making your little meatballs. I made these about “bouncy ball size”. C’mon you know you all have one of those!!

IMG_3166In a large stock pot, add your stock and soup base, heat on medium-high to a nice rolling boil. Next, start dicing the veggies.

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qui3When your veggies are ready, saute the celery and onions until translucent in a saute pan with about 2 tbs of oil. When done, add into the stock along with the diced carrots.

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IMG_3153Add in the zest of two lemons, when done cut the lemons and juice right into the soup.
IMG_3157IMG_3158Bring the stock to a boil and add in the kale and red pepper flakes. Add orzo and/or rice. Reduce heat to medium and simmer.

IMG_3162Let the stock come up to a boil.IMG_3164Let it simmer for about 15 min, occasionally stirring. Taste to see if pasta/rice is tender. After the pasta has reached al dente, it is time to bring it back up to a boil and add the meatballs.

Drop your meatballs in the boiling soup.  The boil will ensure they don’t just drop to the bottom.

IMG_3168My daughter loves doing this part. It’s so much fun having your little one in the kitchen.

Let the soup boil for about 5 to 7 minutes then turn down to a simmer(medium-low). The biggest mistake people make is serving a soup right away. The whole idea is to let the flavors seep into all of your ingredients and meld together.  I leave soup on low for a good hour, stirring occasionally until it is time to serve.

IMG_3170IMG_3178This soup needs no garnish or fancy trimmings. I served it with a nice crusty bread. The kale gave it a nice brightness and the stock came out savory and light. On a cold night like tonight I am sure this one will be appreciated and the fact that it is healthy as well is just one more reason to make this one tonight. Enjoy!

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