What happens when you leave North Africa and are dropped to the Midwest in under 24 hours? Severe temperature issues that’s what! When I left Morocco it was in the mid-80′s and I’ve been “enjoying” balmy 30 degree temperatures daily since being back. It left me with one thing to do – make soup. Lots of soup.
I had a very long flight back to the US and made sure to fill my iPad with TV shows before I left. I love the free shows, especially since I don’t get to watch much American TV in Morocco. One of the shows I downloaded was My Grandmother’s Ravioli with Mo Rocca. If you haven’t seen it the premise of the show is, Mo going to the kitchens of America’s grandma’s and making their signature dishes. The grandma in this episode was making Italian Wedding Soup (among other things) to send to her triplet grandson’s, all of which were in the Air Force.
This soup isn’t something my grandma ever made. Even though I grew up in an Italian enclave I really don’t ever remember having it. It’s pretty simple, vegetables, meat, and broth. In most recipes spinach is the green vegetable of choice but with this being fall, I went with brussel sprouts instead. I also think this makes a great way to use some of the lamb you might have in your freezer. Saffron Road has recently come out with a lamb broth that made a great base for this recipe. I was skeptical and afraid it would be too gamey (I often feel this way with lamb) but it’s really very subtle and delicious.
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 carton Saffron Road Lamb Broth
- 1/4 pound ground lamb
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- leaves of 4-5 brussel sprouts
- orzo, rice, or another small pasta (optional)
- asiago cheese (optional)
- Chop onions and carrots as fine as possible.
- In a large pot, add 1 tsp of butter, turn heat to low and add onions. Cook 2-3 minutes.
- Empty container of lamb broth and add carrots to the pot, and turn heat to high.
- While the soup heats, begin preparing meatballs.
- Mix the ground lamb with 1/4 tsp each salt and garlic and 1/8 tsp pepper.
- Combine spices with the meat so that it's combined well. Roll small meatballs with your hands. The smaller the better.
- Add meatballs and any pasta to the broth as soon as it begins to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until the meatballs are cooked through.
- In the final 10 minutes before serving, add the brussel sprout leaves and allow a few minutes for them to soften.
- Serve hot, grate asiago cheese on top for an added treat.
- *Traditionally this is made with small pasta, however being gluten-free I tend to omit it. This is totally up to you!