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Michael's brother is visiting us in Cali and he just celebrated his first wedding anniversary with his beautiful Italian/Irish wife, Meaghan. He says they make this soup a lot, and I thought it was a perfect way to cheers their first year together. The veggie meatballs are a snap to put together and get tremendous flavor from the Parmesan cheese, herbs and spices.
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Time: About 30 minutes active; 1 hour total
1 slice bread, toasted
1/2 cup milk
14 ounces faux ground beef or sausage (I used Lightlife Gimme Lean Ground Beef)
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra as garnish
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and nutmeg, each
3 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
10 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch kale/escarole/collards, ribs removed and chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. To make meatballs, soak toasted bread in milk, flip so it absorbs milk, then crumble with hands and discard any extra milk. In a large bowl, add milk-soaked bread, faux meat, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and one egg. Mix with hands until ingredients are well incorporated.
3. Form mixture into about 20 balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes then turn on the broiler and brown 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
4. Meanwhile in a soup pot heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
5. Turn heat down to medium, add kale and cook 3-5 minutes until wilted. Add meatballs to the soup and turn heat to low. Whisk remaining two eggs in a small bowl. Stir soup and stream whisked eggs a bit at a time into the soup. They will cook instantly.
6. To serve, spoon broth into a large bowl adding 3-4 meatballs. Garnish with extra cheese.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.