Seventeen Meatballs

Lamb Meatball Soup

Yesterday I decided to go off piste from The Soup Book. I leafed through The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage and found a fairly simple recipe for lamb meatball soup. Meatballs, tomatoes, sweetcorn, spices: what's not to like? Whenever I think of minced meat I think of minced beef rather than minced lamb, but minced lamb is becoming increasingly available. The recipe calls for seven spices seasoning (also known as Lebanese mixed spices), which I haven't heard of before. The spouse searched on the internet for me and found several different combinations of spices. Eventually I opted for a mix of black pepper, cumin, paprika, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamon.

Decision made, I set to making the meatballs. These consisted of minced lamb, grated onion, flour and the spice mixture. Rings off and hands washed, I began mashing and pounding the ingredients together. I then shaped seventeen meatballs, all the while thinking of an old song my father used to sing called One Meatball. I've just now thought of song from my primary school days: "On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my one meatball when somebody sneezed."

I digress. There was a hiatus between completing the meatballs and starting to cook. The spouse, older offspring and I discussed whether or not we would eat before he went out or not. He had to go out sooner rather than later so we decided I would cook to suit the three remaining members of the household. Cooking was straightforward. I simply had to heat a can of tomatoes (well, not the can itself) with some vegetable stock and leave it to simmer for a while. Next, I plopped in the meatballs and left these to cook in the soup. Finally, I tipped in the sweetcorn kernels and waited for them to heat up.

Time to eat and time for the verdict: delicious. "Mighty," pronounced the spouse. The younger offspring was
impressed. The meatballs were tasty. What I particularly liked about them was the unevenness of the distribution of the spices: sometimes I'd taste nutmeg, sometimes cardamon. The older offspring said more or less the same when he eventually got home for his dinner.

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That's it for this weekend.



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