Italian Meatball Soup with Escarole and Bone Broth - 294/365
Winter is my favorite food season. It's been raining hard here this weekend and you just can't go wrong with this soul-warming comfort food soup. It can be done on the stovetop or in the slow cooker. Save a few meatballs for your pups, Internet! 'Tis the season to eat hearty, people and pups! Recipe below.
2 slices white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
1/2 cup whole milk
1 lb meatloaf mix (i used ground 1 lb ground beef, 1/4 lb ground pork)
1/2 cup grated Parmesean cheese
3 TBS fresh parsley minced
1 large egg yolk (i used full egg)
6 garlic cloves minced, then split in 2 separate bowls
1.5 TSP fresh oregano or 1/2 TSP dried
1 onion minced
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 TSP red pepper flakes
8 cups chicken broth
8 OZ kale, stemmed and leaves sliced 1/4 inch thick (You can also use escarole, or devined swiss chard, and cut it very small.)
6 OZ orzo (about 1 cup) OR, if gluten free: 3/4 cup risotto rice
Mash bread and milk into paste in large bowl using fork. (I used an avocado masher to really get it good and pastey.)
Mix meat mix, Parmesan, parsley, egg, 3 garlic cloves minced, oregano and 3/4 TSP salt with hands in a large bowl. Make the meatballs into 1" rounds. They are better if they are small. I've done bigger ones and it doesn't work as well in soup. You should have 30-34 meatballs when finished.
Microwave meatballs on large plate until fat renders and meatballs are firm 3-5 minutes OR: Brown them in a skillet or slow cooker insert over the stove top. (My All Clad slow cooker insert can be used on the stove top for browning .) Transfer meatballs to a dish.
Sauté onion, garlic cloves, oil and red pepper flakes in slow cooker on stove top. OR microwave them in a bowl until tender, then transfer to slow cooker.
Transfer meatballs to slow cooker. Add broth, cover and cook until meatballs are tender 4-6 hours on low.
Let soup settle, remove fat from surface. Stir in kale and rice.
Cover and cook on high until kale and rice are tender (about an 45 min to an hour). Season with salt and pepper and cheese.