I’ve had this curious case of the sniffles for the last week — a reprisal of the yuckies that sidelined me a few weeks back — and it threw off my kitchen game last week.
The whole time I was cooking Week 19, Meal 2: Indian spiced lamb meatball soup with kaboucha squash, kale and wild rice I ran into problems. I couldn’t smell if the spices had toasted enough or taste if the dish had enough salt.
I planned to package the soup up for the following day, but there was a little miscommunication in the kitchen and we ended up leaving the soup out overnight in our comfortably warm condo.
I wasn’t so keen on trying it the next day as the cold hadn’t subsided (it still isn’t gone) and I wasn’t willing to test the boundaries of food poisoning.
So here goes the soup that never was.
The Recipe (Yield: 4 servings)
Week 19, Meal 2: Indian spiced lamb meatball soup with kaboucha squash, kale and wild rice
1 lb. lean ground lamb
1 t cumin seed
1 1/2 t coriander seed
1 t fennel seed
1 cardamom pod
1 t black peppercorns
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground nutmeg
salt, to taste
1 T vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t ground cumin
2 t ground coriander
1/2 t ground turmeric
2 cups wild rice
1/2 kaboucha squash, peeled and medium dice (about 1 cup)
1/2 bunch kale, stemmed and sliced into 1/4 inch strips
6 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c greek yogurt
1-2 T chopped cilantro
In a small saute pan over medium-high heat, toast 1 t of cumin seed, 1 1/2 t of coriander seed and 1 t of fennel seed.
In a Magic Bullet or similar spice grinder, combine toasted spices with 1 cardamom pod, 1/2 t of cinnamon, 3 cloves and 1/8 t of ground nutmeg. Grind spices until they are very fine.
In a food processor, add 1 lb. of ground lamb, spices and salt. Pulse until well combined and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Roll mixture into large meatballs, about the size of a golf ball, and reserve.
Peel and drop the medium dice on 1/2 small kaboucha squash. You’ll need about 1 cup of squash cubes for the soup.
Stem and slice 1/2 bunch of kale into 1/4-inch strips.
While you’re on the prep table, give the small dice to 1 small yellow onion and mince 2 cloves of garlic.
Now let’s get cooking!
In a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 T of vegetable oil. Add onion and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
Add 2 t of ground cumin, 2 t of ground coriander and 1/2 t of ground turmeric. Cook for another minute.
Add 2 cups of wild rice and the kale. Cook down for 1-2 more minutes, stirring until everything is well incorporated.
Add 6 cups of chicken stock and bring to just below boiling point. Simmer for 45 minutes.
Add squash and meatballs and simmer for another 15 minutes, until rice and squash are tender.
To plate: Season with salt and pepper and serve 2-3 cups of soup per person. Garnish with 1 T of Greek yogurt and a little chopped cilantro.
I’d like to tell you it was delicious, and it probably was, but I can’t say. Wifey Nadia did try a bite when it was still fresh and said the meatballs were bursting with flavor and that the broth had a rich, savory quality to it.