Friday, November 27, 2009

Recipe: Indian Wedding Soup

This is my reinterpretation of Italian Wedding Soup, a classic Italian-American dish with tiny meatballs and a green leafy vegetable in a chicken stock-based broth. I was going to make a meatloaf using the flavors in this soup but decided to try this instead. It is yummy and very comforting, but with that touch of heat and spicy flair of Indian cuisine. The meatballs contain lean ground lamb and ground chicken breast.

It's too bad I didn't bring my crappy camera out of town with me. I would have taken a photo, because this was really colorful with the deep green spinach, bright red tomatoes, and turmeric-colored broth.

Ingredients (Meatballs)
1 pound ground chicken breast
1 pound lean ground lamb
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
1/4 cup finely diced onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. fresh turmeric, minced (it's okay to leave this out if you can't find it)
2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tbsp. garam masala
2 tsp. whole fennel seeds
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Egg Beaters or other egg substitute

Ingredients (Broth)
1 bag of fresh spinach (1 small box of thawed frozen spinach is fine too)
1 can of no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup chunky diced onions, or onions cut into strings or rings
1 box (32 oz.) organic low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. each of garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, mace, and cinnamon
1 tsp. whole fennel seeds
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Begin by combining all of the ingredients for the meatballs. Once all of the ingredients are well-incorporated, form the mixture into tiny meatballs. I didn't weigh my meatballs individually this time, but I'd guess that each one weighed between 1/4 and 1/3 oz.

Saute the meatballs in nonstick spray until they are browned on two sides. They should be mostly cooked through before you take them off the heat, but it's okay if there's a little pink left because they are going to cook more in the soup. You will need to saute the meatballs in batches; I suggest starting to saute some of them while you are forming another batch. As you finish sauteing a batch, empty them into a dutch oven or other large pot.

After all meatballs are browned and in the soup pot, begin constructing the soup by adding the spinach, tomatoes, and all spices to the meatballs. Stir well over medium heat to distribute the vegetables and open up the spices.

After about 5 minutes, add the chicken stock and onions to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil. Allow it to boil for 2-3 minutes, then lower to medium heat. Cook it until it seems done and well incorporated, but not overly-reduced. Let the soup rest for ten minutes, then serve.

Makes about 14 servings.

Nutritional Information (Best Estimate!)
The entire recipe contains approximately 1,635 calories, 213 grams of protein, and 57 net carbs.

If you divide the soup into 14 servings, each one will contain about 117 calories, 15 grams of protein, and 4 grams of net carbs.

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