Savoy Cabbage Soup with Tiny Meatballs
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 (makes 10 cups) (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
Bite-size meatballs and tender vegetables make this soup satisfying; the touch of cream and nutmeg stirred in at the end rounds out the flavors. Homemade broth will add depth, but store-bought works fine.
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
5 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley, divided
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium carrots, sliced into half-moons to make 1 cup
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), trimmed, halved lengthwise, rinsed well, and sliced into half-moons
1 small head savoy cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs.), cored and thinly sliced
7 cups chicken broth (reduced-sodium if store-bought)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Make meatballs: In a medium bowl, stir together bread crumbs and milk. Add 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tbsp. parsley, the pork, and beef. Mix gently but thoroughly with your hands. Scoop mixture by slightly rounded teaspoons and roll into small balls, dipping spoon occasionally in water to keep mix from sticking.
2. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp. oil and swirl to coat. Brown half of meatballs, turning once and reducing heat if they start browning too fast, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and meatballs. Meanwhile, continue with soup.
3. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots and leeks and cook, stirring, until leeks are soft but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Stir in cabbage and remaining 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper and cook until slightly wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth, cover, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until cabbage is quite tender, about 20 minutes.
5. Gently stir browned meatballs into soup and cook, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through and flavors are blended, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream, 3 tbsp. parsley, and remaining 1/8 tsp. nutmeg and ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp. parsley.
*Choose ground beef with at least 20% fat for the juiciest meatballs.
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