Monday, October 7, 2013

Meatball Soup with Swiss Chard



Meatball soup is a great one pot meal during a fall a winter night.   This Italian influenced recipe uses bread in the meat that expands while it cooks and slightly increases the size of the meatballs.  Onions and ground fennel seeds are also used to spice the meat.

I like to use beef broth for this soup, but chicken broth works just as well. Farfalle pasta makes the dish a heartier meal and the addition of Swiss chard really gives the soup base added flavor.  Mozzarella cheese to garnish will melt in the hot bowl to add both flavor and texture to the soup.

Tip:  If you are wondering what to do with that hardened crusted bread in bread box, soak it in water until it softens and use it for the meatballs.

Servings: 3-4
Prep Time: 40 minutes (includes 30 minute refrigeration)
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

2 Slices of Bread
1 lb. Ground Beef
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Cup Yellow Onions finely chopped (divided)
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Tablespoon all-purpose Flour
6 Cups Beef Broth or Chicken Broth
1 Carrot chopped
1/2 Cup Leeks chopped
2 Cups Farfalle Pasta
1/2 Bunch Swiss Chard (stems removed and leaves torn)
Grated Mozzarella or Parmesan Cheese

Place the slices bread in a bowl of water to soak for 5-10 minutes or until the bread is soft.

Place the ground beef, salt, freshly ground pepper, paprika, grounded fennel seeds and water soaked bread in a large bowl. Mix the ingredients together using your hands until well combined (make sure the bread is adequately broken up to small pieces in the meat).  Form the meat into meatballs about an inch in diameter.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a large pot bring the broth to a boil.  Add the carrots, leeks, remaining onions and meatballs to the pot and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the Farfalle pasta to the pot and cook for an additional 8 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.  Add the torn Swiss chard to the pot without stirring it in.  Cover and cook until the leaves are wilted (about 4-5 minutes).  Remove the pot from the heat.  Stir the Swiss chard into the soup.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls with grated Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese on the side to garnish.

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