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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Comfort Food: Meatballs, Sausages, and Spinach Soup

When it's cold, I want to eat something substantial. Tramping around in the snow all day, when we get back to the condo, we're cold and very, very hungry. With a fresh baguette or a bowl of steaming pasta, the Meatballs, Sausages, and Spinach soup is really satisfying. Add in a glass of Merlot or Pinot and it's all good.

1 ½ lbs. extra lean ground beef 7%
2 sweet Italian sausages
3 cloves garlic, peeled--2 finely chopped, 1 roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, peeled--½ onion cut into thin rings; ½ finely chopped
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano
1 bunch spinach, washed
4 cups homemade chicken stock
Sea salt
Black pepper

In a bowl, combine the lean ground beef, finely chopped garlic, ½ an onion, and the Parmesan. Using your hands, mix well and form 48 medium-sized meatballs. Sauté the onion rings and roughly chopped garlic in olive oil on a medium-high flame until lightly browned; remove to a plate. Return the pan to the stove and sauté the meatballs with 1 teaspoon olive oil. When they’re browned on all sides, remove and drain. Do in batches.

Cut the sausages into ¼” rounds and sauté until brown. Remove and drain. Pour off the excess oil and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Heat again and add the spinach. Turn frequently until the spinach wilts, then add the onions, meatballs, and sausages. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes.

To eat as a soup, serve hot, with grated Parmesan on the side. To have with pasta, cook 1 pound of spaghetti and add to the meatballs and sausage. Serve with grated Parmesan

Serves 8. Preparation Time: 30 minutes. Cooking Time: 60 minutes.

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