New Location

You can find all the old content and new stuff too at

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spinach-Buttermilk Soup with Mini Meatballs

Do you ever buy a quart of buttermilk only to use a couple of cups? What to do with the rest? You can make more pancakes, of course. Here's another way to use up 2-3 cups of buttermilk. It's a rather unusual recipe. I can't recall seeing anything similar anywhere else. It is very tasty and a vibrant shade of green. It gets a nice tang from the buttermilk. This soup also freezes brilliantly. I adapted this recipe from one in Half a Can of Tomato Paste and Other Culinary Dilemmas by Jean Anderson and Ruth Buchan. It's long out of print but you can get a copy used from the usual places. I love the concept of this cookbook - recipes and tips for using up odds and ends of ingredients that languish in your pantry or refrigerator.

Spinach-Buttermilk Soup with Mini Meatballs
(serves 6-8)

Mini Meatballs
½ pound Ground Pork
½ pound Ground Turkey
1 cup Soft Fine Bread Crumbs
1 small Onion, minced
¼ cup Grated Pamesan Cheese, optional
3 Tbsp Anchovy Paste, optional
½ tsp Salt , omit if using Parmesan cheese and/or anchovy paste
⅛ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 pinch Ground Nutmeg

Spinach-Buttermilk Soup
2 large Onion, peeled and chopped fine
3 Tbsp Butter
2 10-ounce Packages Frozen Spinach, either leaf or chopped
5 ¼ cups Chicken Broth
2-3 cups Buttermilk
⅛ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 pinch Ground Nutmeg
Salt, to taste

Prepare the meatballs first. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly then shape into 1" balls. Arrange them in one layer on a sheet pan. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until the meatballs have firmed up.

While the meatballs are chilling, prepare the soup. In a 4 quart saucepan or soup pot, saute the onions in the butter over medium heat until they are nicely browned. Add the frozen spinach, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes or until the spinach is very soft.

Puree the onion-spinach mixture in a blender with 1 cup of the chicken broth. You can use a food processor but the texture will be smoother if you use a blender. Return the pureed onions and spinach to the saucepan and add the rest of the chicken broth. Cook on the low, covered, while the meatballs chill.

Drop the meatballs into the soup. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, just to maintain a simmer, for 45 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.

Reduce heat to low, and add buttermilk, pepper, nutmeg, and salt and heat just to serving temperature. Do not boil as the buttermilk may curdle.

Link to PDF of Spinach-Buttermilk Soup with Mini Meatballs