Saturday, October 2, 2010

Meatball Kale Soup

I was in the kitchen the other afternoon. It was a Thursday, with my market shopping Saturday still two days away. I was looking at what dwindling fresh produce I had left in the refrigerator and trying to come up with something for dinner. One bunch of kale, a couple turnips, a few carrots and a pound of hamburger meat. Hmm.... So this is what I came up with. I was delighted with my results, it was so good! My husband, who had been working late and hadn't watched me prepare it, even had to ask me where I got the meatballs; he said they looked so perfect and were so tasty that I must have bought them from the store. I smiled and said,

"No store bought, factory made, frozen meatballs for my family, I'm a homemaker and I have plenty of time to actually cook for my family."

Pair this soup with some nice thick slices of freshly made whole wheat bread and you've got the perfect Autumn dinner for your table.

A note about the meatballs: The one pound of hamburger made 33 one inch meatballs, way too many for my soup to handle. I ended up putting 17 meatballs into my soup (a little less then what my recipe says below because I have two little boys who don't eat much.) While the soup was simmering, I cooked up the rest of the meatballs in a skillet and then froze them for use in a future meal.

Another note about the beef base: I keep a jar of beef base in my refrigerator. I make a lot of soups and other things that require broth. I have found the Better Than Bouillon paste products to be the best tasting broths or stocks out there, hands down 100% better than something out of a can. I find this at my local Costco; it carries the organic reduced sodium base that I like the best.

Soup Serves 4


1 lb. ground hamburger
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
a few sprinkles of garlic powder
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lg egg

Into a large bowl, put the hamburger, bread crumbs, spices and Worcestershire sauce. In a small, tall-sided bowl, beat the egg until good and frothy with a wire whisk. Add the egg to the hamburger and mix up all ingredients with a fork.

With clean hands (free of wedding rings and such) pinch off just enough hamburger mixture to measure about an inch. Without putting pressure on it, roll the hamburger in a circle between the palms of your hands until you have a uniform 1 inch round meatball. Place onto a large rimmed cookie sheet. Repeat until all meatballs are made. You should have about 32-33 meatballs when done. Place the sheet into the refrigerator until ready to use.


1 celery rib, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped

1 small onion, chopped
12 c. water
8 tsp Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
2 turnips, chopped
1 small bunch of kale, well rinsed and shredded

In a dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped celery, carrots and onion and saute them for 5 minutes. Add the beef base paste and warm, stirring, for about a minute. Then add the 12 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Once the soup begins to boil add the turnips, kale and drop in 20 meatballs. Bring back to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Serve with a hunk of whole grain bread.

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