Meatball Soup

“My mother taught me how to make this soup. She in turn learned it from her sister Anna, who was an excellent cook. One memory that stands out in talking about this recipe with my daughter, involved a visit to my girlfriend’s home. I was about eight years old at the time and we were living in Siberia. While I was visiting my girlfriend her mother was in the process of making a meatball soup (which was always my favourite as a child). Oh!, how I wanted my friend to ask me to stay, but sadly she did not. Walking home I was very disappointed. As I entered the door I could smell meatball soup. I was overjoyed. I felt my mother somehow knew that this was exactly what I wanted. A lovely memory. Meatball Soup was always popular in my home because it requires just a few ingredients, is cost effective and is extremely flavourful.” - Clara

SERVES:  6

PREP TIME:  20 to 25 minutes

COOKING TIME:  1.5 hours

INGREDIENTS

For the meatballs:

1/2 pound (225 g) finely ground beef
1/2 pound (225 g) finely ground pork
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) dried or 2 teaspoons (10 mL) fresh thyme 
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 mL) of water


For the stock:

12 cups (3L) water
1 bay leaf
1 whole onion, marked with an X at the bottom
2 stalks of celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt

PREP AHEAD

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cooked brown rice, pasta or gluten-free pasta

DIRECTIONS

1. To make meatballs: Mix together, ground beef, pork, dried or fresh thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60 mL) of water. With your hands form meat into small 1 inch (2.5 cm) meatballs.

2. To begin the soup, bring water, bay leaf and whole onion to a boil and add meatballs. Cook on low heat for 1 hour and then add chopped celery and carrots. Continue to cook for an additional half hour and near the end of cooking time add 1/2  teaspoon (2 mL) of salt.

3. Remove whole onion and let soup rest for 10 minutes. Remember to cook pasta or rice separately. Add pasta or rice to each bowl, then ladle meatball soup on top.

CLARA'S TIP 

1. Adding a small quantity of water to the meat makes the meat more workable and easier to roll into balls. My mother taught me this method.

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