Yield: 6 Servings
|Ribs celery, diced
|Carrot, scrubbed and diced
|Turnip, peeled and diced
|Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
|Thick slice crusty French or Otalian bread
|Boned and skin cooked chicken, coarsely diced
|Best quality smoked ham, coarsely diced
|Freshly ground black pepper
|Small sprigs fresh basil and/or parsley
|Unbleached all-purpose flour
|Salt to taste
Bring the stock to a boil in a large soup pot. Turn the heat down to low and let simmer, uncovered, while you continue.
Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the celery and carrot; saute for another 5 minutes, then add the vegetables to the simmering chicken stock along with the tomato paste, brandy, turnip and butternut squash. Simmer gently, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the meatballs. In a food processor whizz together the bread, garlic and egg for about 30 seconds until a smooth paste is formed. Add the chicken, ham, pepper and the basil and/or parsley.
Pulse-chop 10 to 15 times, then process until a smooth, very thick paste is formed.
Roll the meat paste into balls the size of a large marble. Roll the balls in the flour so that they are lightly dusted all over.
When the vegetables are tender, raise the heat slightly so that the soup simmers with a little more intensity. Drop the meatballs into the soup and let cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Be careful not to oversalt as the ham is salty.
Serves 6 to 8 as an entre with bread and salad.
NOTE: This is even better the next day, but first remove the meatballs and wrap them separately rather than storing them overnight with the broth.
Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread, A Country Inn Cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon. Workman Publishing ISBN: 1-56305-243-1 Posted by Fred Peters.