Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Meatball soup with grilled zucchini served with Feekeh

My version of an Italian wedding-type soup
 This soup is like my version of an Italian wedding soup.  I have never tried an Italian wedding soup, but I have seen them served at restaurants and this certainly is similar.  (minus the msg, artificial ingredients, hormone filled meat)
Mini Meatballs: 1 lb of grass fed  beef
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 free range egg
Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl until well combined.  Form the meat into small meatballs about 1 inch in diameter.  Place the meatballs in a hot skillet and get a good crispness on the entire exterior.  

As meatballs are cooking,  add the following to a large soup pot. 
Soup Base:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 large carrots, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
sea salt 
1-2 cloves of minced garlic
 10 cups of vegetable stock
Cover the pot with a lid and allow the vegetables to cook on medium heat until they are softened. Toss in 1-2 cloves of minced garlic.  Then add 10 cups of vegetable, chicken or beef stock.  I use vegetable bouillon powder and make the stock from that. You can also use the pre-made stocks, like those by Pacific natural foods.  They have a line of organic chicken, beef, vegetable or mushroom stock. 
If you want to make it from bouillon, I recommend:
Rapunzel brand
or Vogue Cuisine 
These are mostly organic and GMO free, but they are also MSG free.  Most bouillons or stocks contain a lot of MSG so you want to read the labels before you buy.  Look for words like soy protein isolate, protein isolate and hydrolyzed soy protein.  These are just a few of the undercover names for MSG.  
KITCHEN TIP:  Most stocks and bouillons used to make soup are loaded with the neurotoxin Mono-sodium Glutamate.  Make your own stock or be sure to read the label before buying a pre-made stock or bouillon. 
Once the meatballs are cooked, add them to the soup and simmer on low-medium for about 1 hour.

Gently  drop into soup

ahhh, splash!

Now there is ONE more thing I add to this soup.  Grilled Zucchini.  I slice and grill it while the other veggies are cooking in the pot.  Once they are grilled, I diced them and add them to the pot with the vegetable stock.  If you didn't want to do this step you could add fresh diced zucchini when you are cooking all the other veggies BUT I would perform this extra step.  It really makes the soup.
Grilled Zucchini:
1-2 medium sized zucchini, sliced to 1/4 inch thickness, lengthwise
Grape seed oil to baste
sea salt
Grill on hot coals until you get char-marks on both sides.  

The grilled Zucchini is so good you will want to eat them all.

 You can serve this soup by itself, with crusty bread or on a bed of cooked Freekeh, like I did.  (we will talk about Freekeh and other lesser known grains on a later date)
The kids just gobbled up this one up.  I hope your family will love it too.
A grain for Freeky Canadians.  (eh)

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