I wanted to start this out with a story. My fiance, aka my blog manager, likes to critique and make suggestions on what I’m posting. I strive to create ‘pretty’ foods but sometimes food just isn’t pretty. For example, meatloaf. How do you make a loaf of meat pretty? So I was working on the photos for this soup post and he spotted them out of the corner of his eye and stated ‘You cannot use those photos.’ I had to politely remind him that 1) not all food is pretty, 2) the soup was delicious and 3) I’M THE EDITOR OF THIS BLOG!
So while this isn’t the prettiest of dishes I will say that it is quite tasty. This was my first attempt at cooking with quinoa and as afraid as I have been about trying it, it’s actually pretty tasty. Well, mostly flavorless but not a horrible texture as I had intended. I’ll probably starting using it in more recipes.
So if you can overlook how ugly this dish is I can almost guarantee you’ll love the flavor combination. And! It’s pretty healthy, involving whole grains and some delicious kale. Speaking of kale, here’s another opportunity to win a year’s worth of organic greens from organicgirl!
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated and divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten $
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ cup chopped shallots
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 4 cups baby kale
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 5 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 1 cup cooked noodles
- Combine the ground beef, quinoa, ¼ cup cheese, parsley, basil, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, garlic and egg in a medium bowl. Gently mix to combine the ingredients. Divide the mixture into 16 equal parts and roll into small balls. Bake at 400 degrees from 15 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add in the shallots and celery and saute for 1 minute. Add in the kale, reminding salt & pepper and red pepper flakes and toss to coat. Pour in the stock.
- Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes before adding in the cooked noodles and meatballs. Continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes before serving.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the remaining cheese.