I never noticed how much goes through my head until I couldn’t blog. It’s almost a sickness really.
Hubby and I have started some of our fall projects, and even though we don’t actually have the money laying around to fully complete them, it was time to start.
I’ve been staring at ugly carpet for over a year now. There is only so much a girl can take. It had to go. And the dinning room had to be rearranged. And the nice TV that sits unused in the basement had to be brought up and set up in the dining room turned living room. It only makes sense.
When you want desperately to make huge renovations, but don’t have the money and don’t want to put it all on a credit card, you gotta make do with what you’ve got. And thus rearranging was in order. Unfortunately my computer desk was the last thing to be moved, and would still be sitting in the dark corner of the den turned dining room if I hadn’t begged Hubby to help me move it before my head exploded with all the things I wanted to blog about but couldn’t due to lack of internet connection.
I still live in a bit of a stone age where my computer needs a cable to be online. Every laptop I’ve ever owned has had problems with the keyboard, but my ol’trusty desktop always gets the job done. I would still have internet connection in the den turned dining room, but the modem that I have has terrible broadcasting range and my Wii had been moved to a different room, and couldn’t pick up the signal from the modem. And my new guilty pleasure show has become House, since it was added to Netflix. And the only way I can watch Netflix is if my Wii can pick up the WiFi. Therefore the modem was moved to the same room as the Wii, but the computer, with its cable dependency, was disconnected and left behind.
Do you see how technology is working against me?
Oh…you don’t really care? You’re just here for the recipe? Well then. I guess we can talk about that.
But first allow me to set the mood.
Yes soup requires mood. Just go with it.
It’s pouring rain outside and it is freezing! I’ve spent a good portion of the afternoon wrapped like a taco in a blanket enjoying sitting in my new living room.
Enter soup. Rainy fall days call out for warm soup. My cold soul needs the warmth. And also the house was so cold that Hubby started the wood stove. Which happens to be in the same room now as the living room.
You see how that worked out? House + soup + wood stove = happy April. Fall truly is the best time of the year!
And to make this soup even more appealing, it is pretty low budget. I’ve been working to reduce some of our food costs, to be able to put more money away for savings, or renovations (hello flooring that isn’t something out of a 70’s horror movie!), and so, soul warming meatball soup was just the ticket.
adapted from The Elliott Homestead
Let us make it known now that when I’m cooking I rarely measure. I just sort of guess so any of these measurements are estimates. Feel free to bust out and work your magic.
The soup is yours to create!
Ok, let’s just get right to it.
You Will Need:
1 (ish) pound of hamburger (or ground meat of choice)
1/2 cup bread crumbs ( I use bread crumbs to stretch the beef. You can omit them if you’d like and just use an extra egg to hold the meat together)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 stalks of celery
1 medium sized onion
2 cloves of garlic (or more if you like garlic. I used 2 very large cloves and it was perfect for us)
1 small(ish) zucchini
1 cup shredded cabbage
5 cups broth (beef would be the obvious choice, but I couldn’t find my beef broth in my messy freezer so I just used chicken stock)
3 cups tomato juice (I just used plain, but a veggie cocktail would be good here too)
A few bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of cayenne pepper (or to your preferred spiciness)
sea salt and pepper to taste
Combine the hamburger, bread crumbs, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, egg, oregano, salt and pepper in a large bowl, and with your hands work it all together. If the mixture seems too sticky you may need more bread crumbs, and if it seems too dry add a little milk. I work it until the mixture holds together in a ball.
Shape your meat balls, and place them in a lightly greased frying pan.
Brown the sides of the meatballs rolling them every few minutes to get all sides. You’re not actually trying to cook the meatballs all the way through, just browning the outside.
While the meatballs are frying, prepare your montage of veggies.
I forgot to take a picture of the zucchini because it was a bit of an after thought. I was just cooking away and happened to see it sitting on my counter awaiting its destiny, and I was like bingo! If you don’t have a zucchini feel free to leave it out. I, on the other hand, was more then happy to welcome it to the party. Sorry for not taking your picture zucchini but thank you for being a tasty addition to my soup.
Slice your carrots, onion, and celery. Put in a large soup pot, and add the 2 tablespoons of butter. Fry the veggies until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes or so. While they are cooking down dice your potatoes and zucchini and mince the garlic. When the carrots, celery, and onion are ready add the potatoes, garlic and zucchini, and fry until the garlic is fragrant. About a minute.
Pour in your stock and tomato juice, and then add the seasonings.
If you are eating the soup right away add in your fried meatballs and let the soup come to a boil for 20 minutes, or until the veggies are fork tender and the meatballs are cooked all the way through (the size of the meatballs will be a factor here too. Larger ones will take longer, smaller ones will take less.)
If you’re like me and making the soup in the early afternoon, add the meatballs now and let the soup simmer away on the stove for several hours ( I made sure my meatballs had a good crust on each side, so that they wouldn’t fall apart while simmering on the stove). Also relish the smell that it sends drifting through your house. You’ll be drooling long before dinner time, trust me.
Add the cabbage about 15 minutes before serving. This will leave it still somewhat crisp which adds a nice texture to the soup. Unless you like mushy cabbage, then by all means throw it in when you add the zucchini. It’s your soup, remember?
Add more salt and pepper just before serving if needed. Mine needed a little touch of salt at the end.
And that’s it. Warm, and filling, and comforting, especially with a fresh baked dinner roll on the side. A sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top would be fabulous too. Sadly I was out of parmesan, but old cheddar is just as tasty.
And as you enjoy this delicious soup, just ponder on how food makes everything better. Because, it totally does. The small simple things are what counts. Like warm soup on cold days, or pulling out ugly carpet, or being able to blog again.
Now go forth and make the soup! Or reread this post, and count how many times I started a sentence with and. My english teacher would be ashamed.
Shared with Mostly Homemade Mondays