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
Meatballs: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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