This is a great winter warmer with lots of protein from the pork, comfort-carbs (and more protein) from the chickpeas and a hit of vitamins from the kale – a simple, healthy dish that tastes great. I’ve added a few spices to up the warmth factor, which adds interest and makes it taste vaguely middle-Eastern.
You can buy pork mince or squeeze the meat out of a few sausages, but I got the lovely guys at Atlantic Meat Market in Brixton to mince some chops for me – if you do this tell them it’s for meatballs and they’ll include enough fat – essential for flavour!
You could replace the chickpeas with small pasta like orzo, and the kale with cavalo nero if you fancy mixing it up a bit.
(NB: the parmesan sounds odd but it’s really for seasoning rather than cheesiness)
For the meatballs:
- 500g pork mince
- 50g white breadcrumbs (stale bread is fine)
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 50g grated parmesan
- Sprig fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 10g butter
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
For the soup:
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock (homemade is ideal otherwise fresh not powdered)
- 1 x 400g can chickpeas
- 2-3 handfuls fresh kale
- 1 spring onion
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- handful fresh coriander, stalks reserved
- 1 green chilli (optional)
Put the chilled pork mince into a mixing bowl and add seasoning, parmesan, mustard, thyme and breadcrumbs. Shape into bite-sized balls and set aside in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Fry the garlic and spring onion on low heat for a couple of minutes. Add the stock, chopped kale, chilli, chickpeas and the chopped stalks of the coriander (the leaves go in at the end). Let it bubble away gently while you brown the meatballs in the oil and butter. You just want to get a crust all the way round the outside, it doesn’t matter if they’re not cooked through.
Once they’re brown, place the balls into the soup (they should stay together because you chilled them), put the lid on and leave it to simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve with some of the coriander leaves to garnish.
The ingredients for this dish were all bought at independent shops in Brixton so don’t forget to add your signature to the petition to save the Arches to keep local shopping in Brixton.
*This post first appeared on the brilliant Brixton Blog