Spring in Texas is fun. One day, we have temps in the mid-90s. The next, it’s in the 60s, with lows in the upper 30s. It’s shorts one day, and the next, you’re dragging out a jacket again to keep off the morning chill. I suppose it could be worse – I know many of you received snow yet again this past week.
For those days when I have fresh vegetables in the garden already, and yet get a cold and rainy spell, this soup does the trick. It’s fresh and light, thanks to the herbs and green onion, but it’s also warming and filling. It’s a perfect bowl of spring, nourishing and healthy, and great for giving me much-needed energy to work in my garden. It’s also pretty kid-friendly. I mean, who doesn’t like meatballs?
Today is another day filled with rain, followed by a couple cooler days. While I’m sure it’ll be overly hot all too soon, I’m going to enjoy the cooler temps with a bowl of soup. Wouldn’t you?
Bison Albondigas Soup (gluten-free, dairy-free)
1 lb ground bison or lean ground beef
1/3 c raw long-grain rice
1 T chopped fresh mint
1 T chopped green onion
1/4 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
2 T ghee or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 1/2 c pureed tomato (can use fresh or canned)
3 c chicken stock (if you follow a gluten-free diet and purchase store-bought, be sure to read labels)
2 c peeled red potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
1 c carrots, sliced about 1/2-inch thick
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped
In a large bowl, add the bison, rice, mint, green onion, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well with hands and form small meatballs, no larger than 1 inch. Place on a platter and stick in freezer for 10-15 minutes, just to firm up a bit.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the ghee or olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 7-8 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and jalapeno and sauté again for another minute. Add the tomato and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Remove the meatballs from the freezer and add them, the potato, and the carrot and bring again to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Allow to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are tender and the meatballs are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with cilantro sprinkled over.