Place all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl or food processor and knead with your hands or pulse with the food processor until thoroughly combined.
Form the mixture into tiny meatballs, about ½ inch in diameter and place them on a platter or cookie sheet. Wrap them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them until ready to use.
In a medium stock pot, heat the oil and cook the onions and garlic until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil.
Gently drop the meatballs into the soup followed by the pasta. Let the meatballs and pasta simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the leafy greens and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until wilted.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Dish up the soup and serve sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and some red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.
Optional (a tradition in some circles): At very end, once the greens are wilted, whisk 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese together with 1 large egg. Stir the broth to get it moving and gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the broth, stirring it gently with a fork to form thin stands of egg.
Notes *The meatballs can be made a day in advance as a time-saver and kept refrigerated. *The longer the soup sits the more liquid the pasta will absorb, so if eating leftovers add more chicken broth.
MINESTRONE WITH GNOCCHI
I found this hearty soup from the website www.tasteandtellblog.com and perfect on a cold winter day. I never had gnocchi before and thought it was delicious combination with minestrone soup.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small to medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
dash of red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups water
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 small parmesan rind, optional
2 cups chopped kale or spinach
1 (16 oz) package gnocchi
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrots and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
Add the chicken or vegetable stock plus 3 cups of water. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, and parmesan rind, if using. Season with a little more salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then add the kale and reduce the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
Add in the gnocchi and cook until tender, another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprig and parmesan rind.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the Parmesan.
If you want to change it up you can substitute the gnocchi for cannellini beans.
Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog Serves: 4 Ingredients:
6-8 ounces crumbled chorizo
2 cups finely diced fennel ( one large bulb)
1 cup finely diced onion ( half a large onion)
4 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly diced
2 T tomato paste
1 C dry white wine
4 Cups Chicken Stock ( or a good fish stock)
1 tsp fish sauce ( leave out if using fish stock)
2 medium tomatoes- diced
8 oz firm fish like halibut, talapia, mahi mahi, or wild caught salmon
1 lb mussels ( frozen are OK, but get fresh if you can)
1 lb large prawns, raw, peeled and de-veined
⅓ C chopped flat leaf parsley
salt if necessary
2 T olive oil
Crusty Bread or 1 Cup of Cannellini Beans
In a large heavy bottom deep skillet or Dutch oven, brown 6-8 ounces chorizo in a little olive oil. (Remove from casing and break up or crumble into small bite size pieces). Once browned, set aside. Pour off the fat, wipe out skillet with paper towel.
In same skillet, heat 2 T olive oil on med high heat. Add fennel, stirring often for about 3 minutes. Add onion, turn heat down to med and saute both until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until garlic starts turn golden. Add tomato paste. Turn heat up to high, constantly stirring, until paste darkens, about 3 more minutes. You are basically frying the paste to deepen the flavor of the dish.
Add white wine and turn heat down to medium high, stirring until it mostly evaporates, about 1-2 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, browned chorizo, and fish sauce and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, taste for salt. Surprisingly, I didn't need to add any salt ( salt content in stocks and chorizo can vary greatly - so make sure to taste. Add cracked pepper. Add fish, simmer a couple minutes and add prawns, simmer a couple minutes, then add mussels. Remember the larger the prawns or mussels or fish pieces the longer they take to cook, so look at all your seafood ingredients and determine which will take the longest to cook, putting them in first.
Finish with a squeeze of a half a lemon and sprinkle generously with flat leaf parsley.
Serve with crusty bread. I like to cut a loaf of good quality garlic or rosemary bread into thick slices, arrange on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and fresh rosemary sprigs, and bake in a 400F oven until toasty, or even better, grill the bread.
If you are going gluten free, try adding a cup of cooked cannellini beans to the stew for added heartiness, instead of serving with bread.
Irish Beef Stew
Extra carrots or parsnips may be substituted for the rutabaga. Serves 6.
Ingredients: ·4 tablespoons olive oil, divided ·3 pounds beef chuck, excess fat trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (I used grass fed stew beef) ·Salt ·Freshly ground black pepper ·4 cloves garlic, chopped ·1/3 cup tomato paste ·2 cups beef stock ·1 1/2 cups stout beer ·2 teaspoons dried thyme ·2 bay leaves ·1 large carrot, sliced 1/4-inch thick ·1 large parsnip, cut into 3/4-inch pieces ·1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces ·1 medium rutabaga, cut into 3/4-inch pieces Instructions: Preheat the oven to 325°F (170 C). Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof pot or Dutch oven. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Add the beef in batches in one layer without overcrowding. Brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining beef. Add 1 tablespoon oil and the garlic to the pot. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring, about 30 seconds. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the stock, beer, thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. The meat should be covered with liquid. If not, add additional stock or beer to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Transfer the pot to oven. Bake until meat is tender, about 2 hours. While the meat is cooking heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep skillet or large pot over medium heat. Add the carrot, parsnip, onion and rutabaga. Lightly season with salt. Saute the vegetables until they brighten in color and begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the beef from oven. Skim any fat on the surface of the liquid with a spoon. Add the vegetables to the beef, stirring to combine. Return beef to the oven, uncovered. Bake one hour, stirring once or twice, until the sauce is slightly reduced, the vegetables are tender and the meat is fork-tender. Remove and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with mashed potatoes.