This is a riff on an Italian Wedding Soup, but with an eastern European flair. It’s a great main course soup on a chilly fall or winter evening.
- 1Saute shallot in a small amount of olive oil to soften (not brown), add garlic and saute a minute or two longer. Let cool in pan.
- 2Soften bread with milk, remove any hard crust and break up with fork.
- 3With a fork, mix together cooled shallot/onion mixture, softened bread, chopped herbs, salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. Mix egg with fork and add to mixture.
- 4Crumble pork ground on top of egg/shallot/break/herb mixture, and mix in with hands until just mixed. Form into about 18 small golf ball size meatballs and place on plate. let meatballs rest in fridge for about 20 minutes.
- 5Bring broth to simmer in a large diameter saute pan with tight-fitting lit (I use a straight sided 3 qt pan, about 9 or 10 inches in diameter). Add meatballs in single layer, separated, and bring to low simmer while covered.
- 6After 5-10 minutes, flip meatballs with two spoons. Continue a very low simmer (covered) another 10-15 minutes.
- 7Move meatballs to the perimeter of pan, and add orzo pasta and cabbage. cover and return to low simmer for 15 minutes.
- 8Meanwhile, crisp outside of red pepper on gas burner until blackened all around. You will need tongs- keep turning it until the entire pepper is blackened, the put in paper bag and close top for 10 minutes or so.
- 9After pepper has sweated for 10 minutes, remove from bag and remove blackened skin. You can do this with your fingertips, and you can also clean the peppers under running water. Half pepper, remove core/seeds, and cut in half. Cut into strips that will fit on your spoon.
- 10Mix red pepper into pan with meatball, orzo, and vegetables. All should be cooked by now, so just simmer together for a minute or two.
- 11Serve soup in wide shallow bowel with a dollop of sour cream in middle (optional) and a garnish of Hungarian paprika on top.
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