Mexican meatball soup

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup integral rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
For the soup:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in chunks
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with juice
  • ½ teaspoon died oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl. Using wet hands, shape the meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs by rolling it between your hands until it forms a ball. This should make about 35 meatballs, depending on how big you make them. Keep them in the refrigerator until ready to add to the soup.
  2. In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until they start to soften. Pour in the chicken broth, water and can of tomatoes. Stir in oregano and cumin. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the meatballs to the simmering soup, one at a time. Stir very gently, to avoid breaking apart the meatballs. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for another 10 minutes. Stir in zucchini and cook, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.
  4. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Grilled cauliflower and pesto

Ingredients: (356 calories) (4 servings)

  • 1 onion
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1 tesapoon ground dried chilli
  • 800 g cannellini beans

Pesto:

  • 25 g unsalted nuts (whatever kind you have)
  • 3-4 sprigs of woody herbs, such as rosemary, thyme or flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon

Instructions:

  1. To make the crispy onions, peel and thinly slice the onion into rings. Heat a good splash of oil in a pan and slowly fry the shallots for 15 minutes, until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on kitchen paper to crisp up.
  2. Trim away the cauliflower stalk, then boil the cauliflower whole in a pan of salted water over a medium heat for 3 minutes, then drain and leave to cool.
  3. Next rub in the chilli, sea salt and black pepper, and drizzle with a little oil. Leave to one side.
  4. For the pesto, toast the nuts in a dry pan over a low heat until golden, then either bash with a pestle and mortar or blitz in a food processor until combined.
  5. Pick and add the herbs, and a pinch of salt and blitz or bash again until you have a thin paste. Season with lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper, and set aside.
  6. Cook the cannellini beans according the package instructions. Mash and stir through 1 to 2 tablespoons of the pesto.
  7. Preheat a griddle pan over a high heat.
  8. Quarter the cauliflower and char on the griddle for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden and charred.
  9. Divide the mash between four plates and top with a wedge of cauliflower, a drizzle of the herb oil and the crispy onions.