Friday, December 18, 2009

Soup with Happy Childhood Aroma

Since I started cooking I explored several cuisines, and while I'm eternally in love with French and Italian, lately I've been craving some of my native Romanian dishes. The stuff I grew up on is nothing fancy, but it warms my soul. We're big on soups here, so this will be the first of many.

Meatball veggie soup

Get a pot of water on the stove to warm. In a mixing bowl place your ground meat (chuck, typically, but also pork or chicken, 1 lb should do) and let sit while you gather the other ingredients. Finely chop 1 small yellow onion and sautee it in a tbsp of butter until soft but not browned. Let cool a bit and dump it over the meat. To this add up to a cup of rice, I like mine with a lot of it. Crack an egg on top. Season with salt and pepper and add 2 tbsp chopped parsley. Mix only when you have all your ingredients, and only until just incorporated. Form meatballs. Place carefully in hot water, just below boiling point. After about 10 min you can allow it to boil gently. Now add your veggies, cut as preferred (I liked a fine dice on all, but Zhara likes to pick them individually; you don't want to know how long it took her to finish a bowl, so now we do chunks): 2 potatoes, 1 big carrot, 1 medium zucchini, 2 stalks celery or half a celeriac. I add 1 whole onion, which I discard at the end. When the potatoes are tender add 1 can white beans, 4 oz tomato sauce and 2 tbsp tomato paste. I also add the juice of half lemon, or 1 tbsp vinegar. Boil two minutes more. Serve with sour cream.

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