Friday, July 27, 2012

Curry on Home

Curry and Kale Soup with Potatoes and Lamb Meatballs
Soup is one of my favorite meals, not just because of its simplicity and versatility, but practically speaking, it's just a great way to put a twist on leftovers and use whatever is sitting in the crisper or pantry the day before I'm due for a grocery trip. The veggies in this yummy and spicy soup were what I happened to have, but it would be great with any number of produce choices (zucchini, leeks, or arugula certainly come to mind). Try it tonight for a quick and satisfying dinner.

- 1/2 lb. ground lamb
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp. dried bread crumbs
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes, divided
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese 
- fresh Italian parsley
- 2 shallots, one grated, and one minced
- garlic powder
- olive oil for frying
- 1Tbsp. dry cooking sherry
- 2 carrots, grated and diced
- 2 pieces celery, grated and diced
- 1 tomato, seeded and diced
- 4 c. chopped kale
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 qt. chicken broth
- Parmesan cheese rind
- crumbled feta cheese

In a small bowl, combine ground lamb, bread crumbs, egg, grated Parmesan cheese, grated shallot, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1 tsp. garlic powder, ground cumin, and 2 Tbsp. minced Italian parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using fingers, combine mixture until ingredients are thoroughly integrated, but not over-worked. Carefully roll portions of the lamb mixture into 1 1/2" balls in the palm of your hand, set aside. The mixture will make about 12 small lamb meatballs.

In a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan heat olive oil, about 1 Tbsp. per batch over medium high heat. Add 6-7 meatballs to the hot oil. Carefully brown the meatballs, turning the meat carefully with a pair of tongs. When all sides have a nice brown crust, remove from heat. Cook the rest of the meatballs, adding more oil when necessary. The meatballs only need to be browned, they will cook through completely in the hot broth.

After you have removed the meatballs from the pan, add minced shallot and cook over medium, using a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. After 2-3 minutes when the shallot has begun to soften, add carrots and celery. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until vegetables have softened. Add cooking sherry to pan with diced tomato, curry powder, paprika, 1 tsp. pepper flakes, and 1 tsp. garlic powder. Stir frequently until most of the liquid has cooked off. Add chicken broth, Parmesan rind, and potatoes and bring heat to high. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Remove cover and add browned meatballs to mixture. Re-cover pot and simmer and additional 5 minutes. Remove cover and add chopped kale and 2 Tbsp. minced Italian parsley, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine. Cook with kale over medium for about 5 minutes, until it becomes bright green. Remove soup from heat and season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve soup with a crumble of fresh feta on top. Yummy stuff!

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