Garlicky Swiss Chard Soup with Pesto Meatballs
This was our lunch on this very cold and rainy L.A. day. It was scrumptious! These were the most delectable meatballs I’ve ever made, and the easiest too, because I seasoned them with leftover pesto. Pesto, mmm..
The best thing about the food in this picture is that the Swiss chard and celery were harvested today from our front yard edible garden. It’s my first time growing celery and it’s so easy to grow that I’d say it grows like a weed. You just have to be patient for the stalks to get big, and water the plant frequently since celery is mostly water.
For the soup: In a soup pot: Saute 1/2 large chopped onion, 2 carrots and 3 celery stalks. Cook for a minute then add chopped chard stems, 1 cubed red potato, 3 large crushed garlic cloves, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and 1 bay leaf. Once fragrant, add one carton of chicken stock, or 1 tblsp chicken base and 2 cups of water. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.
Meanwhile, for the meatballs: finely chop the other half of the onion and sauté in a little olive oil. Let it cool.
Into a mixing bowl crumble 2 pieces of bread on a box grater, (or just use 1/2 cup bread crumbs), add 1/4 to 1/2 cup leftover pesto and a splash of milk. Season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with 1 lb. grass fed organic ground beef (or turkey), 1 egg, 3 large basil leaves chopped, a pinch of dried basil, 1 tsp dried parsley and the sautéed onions. Roll into balls and place on a buttered cookie sheet. Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes depending on how big you made the meatballs. Once they are cooked remove the meatballs to a plate lined with a paper towel.
De-vein and chop Swiss chard leaves and add them to the soup.
Serve the meatballs in a shallow dish with the vegetable soup ladled generously over them. Yumm. Enjoy!