Recipe ReDux part 2 – Pomegranate and Meatball Soup

Since I was already making some Pebbled Persian Bread for this month’s Recipe ReDux challenge I wanted to make a dish suitable to serve with it. The book I was using,Flatbreads & Flavors: A Baker’s Atlas by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid suggested this soup. They said that Persian cooking is known for its use of sweet and sour in savory dishes. It certainly did sound good and I love soup so this was a perfect dish to accompany the bread that I made for the challenge.

POMEGRANATE MEATBALL SOUP

Pomegranate Meatball Soup2

Recipe ReDux part 2 - Pomegranate and Meatball Soup
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The meatballs can be made, cooked and frozen ahead of time. Top each bowl with a sprinkle of the mint garnish and serve with Pebbled Persian Bread. I used a 16 ounce bottle of pomegranate juice which was a little more than 2 cups.
Ingredients
  • Meatballs
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried mint
  • Soup
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 cup long grain or basmati rice
  • 1 bunch finely chopped scallions
  • 1 - 5 ounce package spinach leaves, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of parsley, leaves coarsely chopped (do not use stems)
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice or unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons beef base
  • Garnish
  • 3 tablespoons dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Start by making the meatballs. Combine the ground beef, onion, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Mix well and, using your hands, roll teaspoon sized meatballs from the mixture. Place on a cookie sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until the centers are just barely pink. Remove from oven, cook and set aside.
  3. For the soup:
  4. Place the water in a large stock pot. Add your favorite brand of beef base (or bouillon cubes) and salt. Bring to a boil. Add the rice and boil for 5 minutes. Add the remaining soup ingredients as well as the cooked meatballs and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  5. For the garnish:
  6. Combine the mint, salt and pepper together. Serve in a small bowl to accompany the soup. Sprinkle a small amount (1/2 teaspoon or so) over your bowl of soup before eating.

Pomegranate Meatball Soup

The soup was amazingly good. The pomegranate juice adds a bit of tang but not the sourness that I had imagined. This could easily be made vegetarian if you left out the meatballs and replaced the beef base with a vegetable base. Make sure to add some of the minted garnish to your bowl. I wasn’t sure how much to add as I worried that the mint taste might take over. In the end I added about a 1/4 of a teaspoon without it being too minty.

Serve the soup with some homemade Pebbled Persian Bread or your favorite type of flat bread. If you’re looking for other recipe ideas why not stop over at this post and check out what other dietitians have cooked up this month.

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