Week 18 - Soup's on

[Posted by Ruth]

This week brought new additions to our farm share.  We got two enormous sweet potatoes and the first Brussel sprouts.  I know Brussel sprouts are not for everybody, but my husband and I love them.  The trick with them is to not overcook them; that's when they become 'cabbagey'.

Looking at the sweet potatoes and turnip greens sitting on the table made me want to use them in a soup, juxtaposing the sweet of the potato with the bitter from the greens.  Since I had a freezer full of chicken stock thanks to the freezer special for chicken from Stone Gardens Farm (and, yes, I took the feet too!), soup seemed like a great idea.  This soup bears a passing resemblance to Italian Wedding soup.

Sweet Potato and Turnip Green Soup with Meatballs
(This makes a large pot, enough for dinner for 4 the first night w/ leftovers for another night)

10 cups chicken stock, homemade if you have it
3 small leaks - just the white and tender green portion
2 very large sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2-3 lbs) peeled and diced
1 bunch turnip greens, leaves coarsely chopped and some of the stems finely chopped
2 cans white beans, drained
1 batch meatballs - recipe follows.
salt and pepper to taste

Bring stock to a simmer and add in leaks, sweet potatoes and turnip greens.  Simmer until all vegetables are cooked through and quite soft.  Add drained white beans and meatballs and simmer very gently for about 10 more minutes.  Enough for the flavors to blend but not enough to break up the meatballs.  Adjust salt and pepper and serve w/ crusty bread.  Like most soups, this is even better the next day. 

2 lbs ground meat (I use 1 lb each of beef and pork)
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 egg
Approx 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, add more if necessary to bind
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T chile sauce or Ketchup
2 T prepared horseradish
1 T prepared mustard
salt, pepper to taste
olive oil for pan

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly oil a large jelly roll pan or other baking sheet.  Cook onion in a bit of olive oil over medium heat until translucent.  Mix all ingredients, except the olive oil for pan, in a large bowl, preferably with your hands or a large fork.  Don't over mix, stop when all ingredients are incorporated and before you smush the meat up too much.  Form into small/bitesized meatballs, place on baking pan and bake at 375 for approx 30 minutes; until browned on the bottom and cooked through.  Let rest for at least 20 minutes before putting in the soup.  Note: you can use this same recipe for a meatloaf.  Just reduce oven temp to 350, form into a loaf and bake for 50-60 minutes, topped w/ more chile sauce or ketchup if you like