May 14, 2008

Light and Easy Meatball Soup

For the meatballs:
3/4 lb lean ground beef
2 tbsp rice
1 egg
3 tbsp curly parsley
For the soup:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
7 cups of water
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
4 small chicken stock cubes
4 tbsp rice
Juice of 2 lemons

1. Place meat, rice, egg and parsley it in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together, kneading the mixture against the side of the bowl until you can feel the consistency become smooth and almost dough-like.

2. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Take a small amount of the meat mixture, about the size of a hazelnut, and roll it into a ball between your hands. Put it on the baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the mixture, then set aside. It is handy to have a bowl of warm water beside you; dip your hands in every few minutes to stop the meatballs sticking to your palms.

3. For the soup: in a tall pan, heat the olive oil over a low heat. Add the onion and carrot and fry gently, stirring frequently, for 8 minutes. Pour in the water, increase the heat to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock cubes, and rice and simmer for another 15 minutes.

4. Gently add the meatballs to the soup, reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

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