Serve a loaf of warm crusty bread with this substantial but light soup for a great midweek meal. Use another leafy green such as spinach if you don’t have silverbeet.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 cups chicken stock
2 slices white toast bread, crusts removed
¼ cup milk
500 grams pork mince
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard olive oil, for frying
sea salt and ground pepper
2 big handfuls silverbeet, shredded
1½ cups frozen peas
½ cup steline pasta, or other small pasta, cooked
½ cup sliced piquillo peppers
parmesan, for grating
Soup: Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion, carrot, garlic and fennel seeds with a good pinch of salt for 5 minutes. Add the stock and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Meatballs: Break the bread into small pieces and place in a large bowl with the milk, stirring to moisten the bread. Leave for 5 minutes then add all the other ingredients. Season then combine until well mixed and roll into small meatballs. Heat a little olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the meatballs until golden.
To serve: Add the silverbeet and peas to the soup and simmer until tender then stir in the cooked steline. Divide the meatballs between bowls and ladle over the soup. Top with piquillo peppers and a good grating of parmesan.
Pantry note: Jars of piquillo red peppers are available in the condiments aisle in supermarkets.