Lamb and Spinach Soup

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds ground lamb

1/2 cup white rice

1 large white onion, finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

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2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 green or red bell pepper, seeded and minced

1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste

Juice of 2 or 3 lemons (to taste)

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley

6-8 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

2 cups chopped fresh spinach, arugula or escarole (to taste)

Flour

Sea or Kosher salt, black pepper, dried basil

Cayenne pepper, Aleppo pepper, paprika or crushed red pepper flakes

Olive oil or sunflower oil

Lemon wedges, chopped fresh basil

 

Preparation:

Sauté the onions, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and garlic in a few tablespoons of oil until the onions are lightly browned.

Add the sautéed vegetables to the chicken broth, tomato paste, and lemon juice in a large pot, stir, bring to a full boil, and simmer on medium heat for a few minutes.

Combine the ground lamb with the rice, egg, parsley, and choice of spices, and roll into small meatballs.  Roll the meatballs in flour, and add to the hot broth a few at a time; cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Before serving, add the chopped spinach and cook a few minutes longer.  Serve soup with fresh lemon on the side, and garnish with fresh basil or crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Serves 4-6.

*Extra meatballs may be frozen to use another time.  You may add a handful of crushed vermicelli or 1/4 cup of fine or medium bulgur to this soup, if desired.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee newspaper, Sunset magazine, Cooking Light magazine, and at http://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/

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