Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nepali Wedding Soup

It's cold outside today.  About a 25 degree drop in temperature compared to yesterday;  indeed, today is the first day it has actually felt like fall!  What better way to celebrate the change in seasons than a steaming bowl of soup?  

This is a different take on one of my favorite soups -- the Italian wedding soup -- modified to include traditional Nepali flavors and zucchini instead of pasta.

For the soup:
  • Ghee or oil
  • 3/4 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (optional - I had one that needed to be used before it went bad)
  • 2-3 T curry powder, or to taste (start on the low end, you can always add more as you cook)
  • 1 T garlic, minced
  • 1 T ginger, minced (you can store your ginger in the refrigerator to keep it on hand; but, if you don't have any, sub ginger powder, maybe about 1 tsp)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 or 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, cut in rounds or long, like noodles
  • 4 cups homemade beef or chicken stock
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, kept whole, but sliced lengthwise (it's going to act like a bay leaf)
  • Meatballs (see below)
  • Spinach
For the meatballs:
  • 2 lb ground meat (you can use any combination; I'm particularly fond of beef/pork)
  • 1/4 onion, VERY finely diced (you don't want to be eating large chunks of onion in your meatballs)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely diced (again, you could use ginger powder if you don't have fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, VERY finely diced (for less heat, omit the seeds)
  1. Heat ghee/oil in a soup pan.  Add onion and red bell pepper.  Cook until onions are translucent, but not browned.
  2. Add curry powder, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes.  Mix with onions and peppers and cook another minute or so.
  3. Add carrots, zucchini, stock, and jalapeno.
  4. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Meanwhile, mix all ingredients for meatballs (ground meat through jalapeno pepper).  Form into meatballs.
  6. Add meatballs to soup.  Let cook about 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are tender and meatballs are cooked through.
  7. Add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
  8. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  9. Remove jalapeno pepper and serve.

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