Disguising Red Meat to Make It Look Like Soup


Let's face it: There was a time in the not-too-distant past when most of our main meals revolved around beef — or some other type of red meat. With the newest medical warnings about what too much meat can do to our "innards,"  many of us have decided that it's best eaten once or twice a week.

While I'm truly a big fan of beef and lamb, I have relegated them to secondary status. But I find that by utilizing smaller amounts of beef, along with beef broth, to fashion a soup, then I can have my proverbial cake and eat it, too.

Italian Meatball Soup


Meatball Ingredients:

3/4 lbs. ground beef 

3 Tbsps. fresh minced parsley 

1 egg 

2 tsps. minced garlic 

1/2 tsp. salt 

1/2 tsp. pepper 

1/2 tsp. oregano 

2 tsps. lemon juice

Soup Ingredients:

3 Tbsps. olive oil 

7 cups beef broth 

2 cups water 

1/2 tsp. salt 

2 Tbsps. tomato paste 

4 Tbsps. fresh parsley, minced 

2 bay leaves 

3/4 cup onion, chopped 

3/4 cup carrots, chopped 

3/4 cup celery, chopped 

1 cup diced potatoes 

1/2 cabbage, shredded 

salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine the ground beef, parsley, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and lemon juice. Mix to combine and shape into small balls. Place on a cookie sheet and put into freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.

After chilling the meatballs, heat the olive oil in a stock pot. Briefly brown meatballs, then remove to a plate but don't clean the pot.

To the pot, add the beef broth, water, salt, tomato paste and herb bag made from parsley and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then simmer 30 minutes.

Add the onion, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer 15 more minutes. Add the cabbage and meatballs. Bring to a boil, and then simmer 8 to 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the herb bag.

Serves 6 to 8.


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