Well Kathryn over at Vivacious Dish really stumped me during this month’s Paleo Pen Pal Swap…or so I thought! I must admit — I was taken out of my comfort zone a little more on this one. Sometimes that can be a good thing! Tonight I am pleasantly surprised at how great this dish turned out and I’m proud to share it with you all. Nice try Kathryn! 🙂 Thank you for your great item, and your friendship.
My pen pal Kathryn sent me a very interesting ingredient this month; in fact, I had never even heard of them. Preserved lemons!! Initially I was geeked about getting something completely new to me, but as the days went on I began to fret. What the heck was I going to do with these!? My biggest concern was the amount to use as the lemons are preserved in water and salt. I didn’t want them to overpower any other flavors, but at the same time being my new ingredient — I wanted them to be in the spot light.
The result was this fabulous and extremely flavorful meatball soup that was inspired by the lemons. The bright taste of the preserved lemons brings out the earthy/sweet spices commonly used in Moroccan food. I am certain all of you will love this one! The ingredient list is a tad long, but trust me they’re mostly spices and well worth it.
Ingredients for Meatballs
- 2 lb. ground lamb
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. coriander
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 tbsp. preserved lemon, finely diced (include the pulp and rind)
- 1/4 c. fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Ingredients for Soup
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, sliced on the diagonal
- 1/4 c. raisins
- 4 c. chicken broth
- 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes, with juices
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- pinch of saffron threads
- 1 small bunch kale, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for your meatballs. As for the preserved lemons, you will need to rinse them under cool water first. They will be very salty and rinsing them is necessary. I chopped them very well — until they’re almost a paste or mush. Using your hands make sure everything is well mixed and form your meatballs. I got 16 meatballs total. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in an oven-proof pot heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook down for 5-10 minutes.
- To your onion add your sliced carrot and garlic. Cook another 3-5 minutes.
- Pour in chicken broth and tomatoes. Add the raisins, cinnamon sticks, turmeric and saffron threads.
- Up the heat to medium-high and let the liquid come to a rolling boil. Carefully drop in a meatball at a time. Don’t worry about them being overcrowded, drop them and leave them! Don’t stir them up. Cover your pan and place it in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- When the 30 minutes are up, add your chopped kale. No need to stir it in. Cover up again and place back in the oven for another 5-8 minutes or until the kale is wilted.
- Stir it all together and remove your cinnamon sticks before serving.