I love Autumn. Gorgeous sunny days, that aren’t too hot. Crunchy leaves under your feet. Best of all, I can start making yummy wintery food.
Today it’s meatballs, one of my son’s favourites. These meatballs work in a variety of dishes. My son loves them cooked in passata with spaghetti, or packed cold in his school lunches. Today I’m making a basic tomato and bean soup to have with them.
gluten, dairy, nut, egg and soy free
500g lean beef mince
1 medium carrot
2 celery sticks
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup of quinoa flakes
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of lemon zest.
1/2 teaspoon of dried cumin
1/2 teaspoon of dried turmeric
2 tins of tomatoes
1 tin of cannellini beans
1 tin of borlotti beans
2 cups of chicken stock (if I don’t have any home made, I use Massell, as it is gluten and dairy free)
1 teaspoon of sugar
3 bay leaves
1 garlic clove
Fresh basil leaves
Finely dice the onion, and then gently fry in a tablespoon of olive oil, until soft.
Grate the carrots and zucchini and sprinkle liberally with salt. Leave to sit for 10 minutes. Squeeze out all of the water from them and place in a large bowl.
Combine vegetables, mince, spices, and quinoa in the bowl, and mix with your hands until well combined. Roll into balls about 1 tablespoon in size.
Fry on medium heat in remaining olive oil until cooked through (about 10 minutes). Be gentle when turning. They will hold together, but are not quite as robust as meatballs bound with eggs and breadcrumbs.
Cheaty Tomato and Bean soup
This soup is cheaty, because I’m using tins. You can be diligent and soak and boil your own beans, but I am not always that organised!
Smash up tinned tomatoes with a fork. Add tomatoes and stock to a large pot, with garlic clove, sugar and bay leaves. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove bay leaves and garlic. Drain and rinse beans, add to pot and simmer for a couple more minutes until heated through.
Add a few meat balls to the top, and serve with some fresh chopped basil. It is nice with parmesan cheese if you can eat dairy, but it’s just as yummy without.