Well, today is my last day in beautiful Seattle. The weather has been quite cool the last few days and I am worried about returning to the hellish sauna called "home" tomorrow. I have had a wonderful time on this visit seeing family and friends and traveling around the state looking at cool rocks. After two weeks, though, I am a little ready to get back into my routine of home.
This week we're going to have our lawn re-sod and I am will be installing a small patio of flagstone and finishing some other odd jobs I haven't quite finished outside. Prepare to sweat!
In the meantime, while enjoying my last sweat-free day in a while, I'll share with you a recipe I whipped up before coming out here. This soup has a great, robust flavor that is both hardy and delectable. It's like a French onion soup with meat! A great compromise of flavors between my husband and me.
First, you need to make the meatballs. Forgive the slightly creepy look of the ingredients in this bowl. The roll of sausage just looks weird, I know, but when it's mixed with breadcrumbs, eggs, onion, and seasonings, they're mighty tasty.
Simply mix the meatball ingredients together and form one-inch balls out of the meat. Set aside on a plate or tray until the soup is ready for them.
In the meantime, start caramelizing a bunch of onions. I always start my onions over medium-high to high heat and then turn the heat down to medium-low once I see them starting to brown. It takes a bit of time to properly caramelize onions, so be patient. I think this amount of onions took me about 30 minutes. Once they have a nice color like you see here, proceed with adding the broth. Bring to a boil and add the meatballs. Cook for 10 minutes at a low boil (reduce heat as necessary) and then at the very end add the Madeira (a fortified cooking wine) and chopped spinach. The soup can then be served immediately.
Yield: 6 servings
2 onions, halved and sliced
1 TBS butter
1 lb pork sausage
1/3 cup minced onion
1 tsp minced parsley (fresh or dried)
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
6 cups chicken broth
2 TBS Madeira
2 cups loosely packed, chopped fresh spinach
Heat a skillet over medium-high to high heat. Melt the butter and add the sliced onions. Toss onions to coat with butter and then cook, stirring occasionally until they just start to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring from time to time, until the onions are caramelized and show a nice, rich, brown color. It should take about 3o minutes.
While the onions are cooking, mix the meatball ingredients together and form into one-inch balls. Set aside completed meatballs on a tray or plate.
When the onions are done, add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs gently to the broth and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle boil. Once the meatballs are cooked through, add the Madeira and the spinach. Serve immediately.