Hearty Winter Greens and Wild Rice Soup with Miniature Meatballs

Hearty Winter Greens and Wild Rice Soup with Miniature Meatballs

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  • 1 pound ground beef or chicken
  • 1/3 cup finely minced onions
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs, lightly moistened with milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for frying
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • Meatballs (recipe follows)
  • 2 to 3 cups chopped winter greens
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


Lightly combine ground beef or chicken, minced onions, breadcrumbs, egg, Worcestershire, mustard, salt and pepper and form into 3/4-inch meatballs. Fry meatballs in a little oil over medium heat until golden brown (they will finish cooking in the soup). Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, thyme and fennel seeds to the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until onions are tender. Stir in broth, saffron, tomatoes and wild rice. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

Add meatballs and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in greens and taste for seasoning. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 1 or 2 more minutes until greens are tender. Serve with grated Gruyère and chopped parsley.