This winter in California has (finally) brought a lot of rain to our parched landscape, and of course this translates to snow in nearby Mt. Baldy. An interesting little fact, is that the small scale ski resort at Mt. Baldy was the first ski resort, ever, in Southern California. My husband Chris and I have so enjoyed being able to go skiing as often as we have this winter. Mt. Baldy is more on the rustic side and wonderfully uncrowded which is truly a beautiful thing in this densely populated state. We’re usually on the chairlift traveling up the mountain by 8:30 am and after about 4 hours on skis, our legs are done! Luckily, our home is just a 15 minute drive down the mountain. What’s better than to be able come home to some hot soup? This is a soup that came together based on what I had on hand. As it turns out, it’s a fab combination.
Begin the soup making process by getting started on the meatballs.
Here’s what you’ll need …
In a large mixing bowl combine:
1/2 teaspoon of dried mint
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
a few grinds of sea salt and pepper
3 tablespoons of bread crumbs
Using a fork, mix everything together until it forms a paste.
Add 1 pound of ground lamb.
I use my hands to mix everything together. Once it’s well combined, form little, bite-size meatballs and place on a lightly greased, cookie sheet. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.
While meatballs are baking, move on to prepping the other ingredients.
At this point, I place a 1/2 cup of Basmati rice, some sea salt and 1 cup of water in my rice cooker and turn it on.
*I would have used Israeli Couscous instead of rice, if I would have had some on hand - although the rice is very nice.*
Chop 1 large shallot
1 bunch of swiss chard, de-stemmed.
Toss the stems and slice the leaves into pieces about 1/2 inch in width.
1 cup of chopped Daikon
*Daikon is a Japanese radish*
I use Daikon in soups in place of potatoes quite often. It adds a little crunch and is ‘cleaner’ than potato. Also, it doesn’t taste like raw radish in the finished soup. Give it a try.
Once you have these ingredients all prepped, sauté the shallots in a few swirls of olive oil for a few minutes, then add the sliced, swiss chard.
Cook for a few minutes and add the chopped Daikon.
At this point, open two 14 ounce cans of white beans. I usually try to make my own beans if time allows, but not this time around … Rinse the beans in a colander and set aside.
Open a 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes and add to soup.
Add the white beans.
Add two 32 ounce containers of beef broth. Have a spare container of beef broth on hand to add as a needed.
When the rice is finished, add it to the soup.
Remove baked meatballs from cookie sheet and add to the soup.
Cook for three hours.
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