Ahhh, the last of the winter greens. Although, I have grown to love winter greens, I admit that I am tired of them. Thanks to our CSA, over the past few months, I’ve eaten more kale than the rest of my life combined. This soup is (hopefully) our final farewell to winter greens, though I’m sure I be missing them after summer’s onslaught of tomatoes.
Soup with Lamb Meatballs and Winter Greens
You’ll want to start with the meatballs since they take about 30 minutes to cook. After they are in the oven, prepare the broth.
For the meatballs
1 lb ground lamb
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
salt, pepper, herbs of your choice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the lamb, egg, breadcrumbs and a healthy dose of salt and pepper. I also added some Italians spice blend, but I’ll leave that up to you. If you feel inclined to check for seasoning, heat a skillet with some olive oil and cook up a small bit of the meat mixture. Sample the cooked meat and adjust your seasonings. Form 1 inch balls out of the lamb mixture. Cook for about 30 minutes in the oven, or until the meatballs are firm to the touch.
For the soup
1 can crushed tomatoes (or two half-full bags of tomato sauce from your freezer)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 quart chicken stock (we used Jordan’s homemade stock, but store-bought would do just fine in this soup since the lamb is such a strong flavor)
1 cup dried pasta
3 cups winter greens, chopped (we have greens coming out of our ears!)
salt, pepper, chili flake
In a heavy stock pot or dutch oven, pour/defrost the tomatoes and broth over low heat. Add the garlic and a pinch of chili flake and simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. When your meatballs have about 5 minutes left of the cooking time, add the pasta. Cook the pasta for about 10 minutes and then add the greens and meatballs. Simmer the whole mixture until the greens are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
Not only is this soup a delicious use of an excess of greens, but it is a great one-pot meal. You’ve got your meat, starch and veggie all in one dish!