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)
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)
- Heat ghee/oil in a soup pan. Add onion and red bell pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, but not browned.
- Add curry powder, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes. Mix with onions and peppers and cook another minute or so.
- Add carrots, zucchini, stock, and jalapeno.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, mix all ingredients for meatballs (ground meat through jalapeno pepper). Form into meatballs.
- Add meatballs to soup. Let cook about 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are tender and meatballs are cooked through.
- Add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Remove jalapeno pepper and serve.