Kurdish Meatball & Potato Soup

I bought a bunch of ground chuck that was on sale today. Not knowing exactly what I was going to do with it (besides freeze a bunch) I thought of what would warm me up on this dreary, rainy, gray day....It's been storming all week here and it's getting really cold, really fast. I mean last week it was in the 60s and now we're in the 40s! How does that happen? I long for a more moderate climate...maybe someday! When I really need some comfort food, something that just the smell alone warms my bones, I think of all the great soups and stews my mother makes. We always had some sort of soup or stew on the stove, alongside a big pot of rice, of course. In our culture, we serve almost all soups/stews over rice which seriously is not a bad idea. Next time you make your favorite soup, ladle it over some rice and you'll see what I'm talking about!

So what to make with pounds of ground beef....hmmmmm. Well, what came to mind first was a recipe where I could make two or three different things out of it. Hmmmmmm....I got it....MEATBALLS! I remember this meatball soup my mom used to make and it is so delicious! Plus, I could make enough meatballs to have some leftover to use as an appetizer for a party this weekend. Perfect!

Avesta's Meatballs:
2 pounds ground beef (or mix 1lb ground beef and 1 pound ground lamb)1 small chopped onion 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley2 teaspoons garlic powder or 2 cloves crushed fresh garlic2 teaspoons ground hot red pepper (optional) salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together and roll into balls.
I don't use egg or bread crumbs in these meatballs. I don't like any fillers or binders when I don't have to use them. I don't have a problem keeping my meatballs together. If you find you're having trouble or you want a moister meatball, add two eggs to this recipe.

Place rolled meatballs on a pan-sprayed baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes (depending on the size you made them, check inside of one meatball to see if fully cooked).
This recipe should make about 30-40 meatballs.
Kurdish Meatball & Potato Soup:20-30 meatballs1 can chopped or diced tomatoes (with their juice)2 cans tomato sauce2 cans beef broth1 small chopped onion 1/4 cup chopped parsley2 tablespoons lemon juicepinch of sugar1 teaspoon cumin4 potatoes, peeled & cubedsalt & pepper to taste1-2 cups water (depending on how thick you like your soup/stew)4 tablespoons olive oil

Kurdish Meatball & Potato Soup
In a large saucepan, saute diced onions in the olive oil until just soft. Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley and saute for just a minute. Add the tomato sauce, beef broth, potatoes, sugar, cumin, salt & pepper and water and mix well. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes and continue to mix. Lower the temperature, add the cooked meatballs and lemon juice and let simmer until potatoes are soft. You can also add other vegetables to this soup if you'd like. I've added green beans, garbanzo beans, okra, corn...whatever your fancy!
This soup served over rice is so delicious but since it does have potatoes in it, you could eat it alone in a soup bowl with some good buttered bread!