Wednesday, September 5, 2012
The Perfect Meal For A New Mom- Meatball Soup
I believe that the kindest thing you can do for a woman who just had a baby is take her a meal. When I had my first baby almost eight years ago I remember the soup that a woman from church brought me. She had been raised in Mexico and she brought the most amazing meatball soup that I had ever had. It was full of vegetables and meatballs, spices and color. She even brought fresh jalapenos and lime wedges to put in it if we liked. It was so amazing and nourishing. I will forever be grateful to her and the time she spent doing something nice for me.
Recently I took a similar soup to two friends of mine who had babies within a short time of each other. They asked for the recipe and so- I am sharing it with you!
Mine isn't near as wonderful as the one that was brought to me. I never take fresh jalapenos either. (While they are wonderful for dad I have to admit that I avoid spicy foods for a few weeks after having a baby! One of my babies got an upset tummy when I sucked down green chili.)
Anyway- I don't know why I am dragging this out with stories of my first baby. Here it is!
(BY THE WAY- I just throw stuff together so I don't have exact amounts. This is going to be the dumbest recipe ever. I apologize.)
Chicken broth- (I make my own or you can use vegetable broth. But chicken tastes better. I just need to admit that.) About 4 cups is a good start and you can add more if you need it or depending on the size of your batch.
Vegetables- I use what I have and chop them up but these usually go in the mix.
Zucchini or other squash
3 or 4 Carrots
Lots of greens (Kale, spinach, chard, bok choy- whatever you have. But the greens are so yummy and nutrient dense. You can add a lot and they just kind of shrink up.)
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 or 3 Tomatoes
(Eggplant, mushrooms, bell peppers, anything you want to put in would be great. Did I mention that I don't always use recipes?)
Put all your veggies in your broth and start cooking.
If you are a vegetarian you can skip the meatballs and just add in some lentils or a bean mix so that the soup has some good hearty protein. But really, the meatballs are what make it fab.
In a mixing bowl (you can do it in a Kitchen aid or just by hand) add:
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp rub for meat (it has salt and pepper and some other seasonings in it)
About 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup oats
Mix until incorporated
Shape into quarter sized balls then place in cooking pan and cook on stove-top until browned. Put the meatballs in the soup and continue to cook on low (This can all be done in the crock pot. But if you are going to be cooking for a real long time, add the meatballs later so they don't fall apart. I usually start my broth and veggies in the morning and come do the meatballs in the early afternoon.)
Dare I admit that I throw in the fat from the meat?! I do!
Put it all together and you will have a healthy, nutrient dense soup for a lovely new mama. Even my kids like this soup and my hubby too (soup with meatballs is like a treasure hunt).
Add salt and pepper to taste. Other herbs that are nice if you have them are basil or oregano or whatever you prefer. Just make it taste good to you.
Love to the new mamas out there!
(I always make fresh biscuits with this soup too. They are very simple. They take only about 10 minutes to make from scratch, they are super fun to do with the kids, and they are super yummy.)