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 🙂
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!!
Add in the zest of two lemons, when done cut the lemons and juice right into the soup.
Bring 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.
Let the stock come up to a boil.Let 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.
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.
This 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!