Friday, November 4, 2011

Catalan (Spanish) Meatball Soup

This recipe- Sopa de Albóndiguillas Catalana- is yummy and a little bit different- a brothy, tomato-y soup filled with pasta and small pork meatballs, and flavored with fresh mint and white pepper.  I decided, once again, that I needed to make more recipes from my Spanish cookbooks.  This recipe looked fun and easy enough. 

This recipe comes from Catalonia, Spain- the Northeastern part of the country.  Like many countries, the cooking of Spain is very regional, so even though I lived there, I never came across (or noticed) a soup like this.  If you don't like white pepper (the taste is very distinct here), just substitute black.  If you can't find fideos noodles, you can use broken vermicelli.  I used all ground pork for this- make sure you buy plain ground pork and not sausage.  Also, I didn't bother peeling my tomatoes.  I kinda sorta removed most of the seeds, though.  I usually don't worry too much about stuff like that.

I made a very simple Spanish bread that we enjoyed with this; I'll share that recipe later.
Catalan (Spanish) Meatball Soup
adapted from Spanish Country Kitchen

5 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato puree
4 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup fideos noodles,
fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
mint leaves, to serve


8 oz. ground pork
8 oz. ground beef or veal (can use all pork OR all beef- 1 lb.)
1 small onion, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
A pinch of cinnamon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Plain flour for dusting
2 tbsp olive oil for frying

1.  To make the meatballs, put the ground meats in a bowl with the onion, garlic, egg, mint, parsley, breadcrumbs, cinnamon and seasoning.

2.  Using your hands, mix into a smooth paste, then make into 1.5cm (½ inch) balls.  Coat lightly in flour. Fry the meatballs in hot oil to give a little colour and to firm up, shaking the pan to ensure even colour and to stop them sticking. 

3.  Put the stock in a large pan and bring to the boil, add the tomato purée, tomatoes and fideos or vermicelli and seasoning. Add the meatballs and simmer gently for about 5 minutes until the noodles and meatballs are cooked through.

4.  Scatter with mint and parsley leaves to serve.
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tasteofbeirut said...

This is similar to a Lebanese soup made with broth and kibbeh balls I was thinking about making recently. Looks absolutely delicious with the advantage that it is less time-consuming than making kibbeh!

What A Dish! said...

The Kibbeh sounds goo too- love looking at your recipes!