Thursday, November 3, 2011

Creamy Cauliflower Meatball Soup {GAPS Stage 1 Recipe and beyond}

This is a simple recipe that you can easily modify to fit your taste preferences and dietary tolerances.  We all enjoyed this soup - it is something I will fix again for sure!  I don't think I would serve it to company :-) but that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable, especially for the early stages of GAPS!  It's nice to have a really creamy thick soup to change things up a bit. 

First I will share exactly what I made and then the basic approach to where you can modify it to fit exactly what you need. 

Creamy Cauliflower Meatball Soup
Ingredients: 
Stage 1:
  • 2 heads of cauliflower, stalks removed
  • 1 quart of broth (I used beef)
  •  2 lbs ground beef
  •  Salt (I use about 1 tsp per lb of meat) and pepper
  •  2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
 Stage 2 additions:
  • 2 eggs (only late stage 2 and beyond, once you have successfully introduced cooked egg)
  •  parsley or other fresh herbs (stage 2 and beyond) (I used about 1 Tbsp dried parsley)
Instructions: 
Boil/Steam cauliflower in broth until soft.  While cauliflower is cooking, mix ground beef with salt, pepper, and garlic (and eggs and desired herbs if you are at that stage).  When cauliflower is done, puree it (along with the broth) in blender, food processor, or with stick blender - in batches. Return to pot.  Bring to a simmer.

Drop the meat mixture in desired size of meatballs into the simmering soup.  Try to evenly distribute the meatballs around the pot so you don't have to disturb them before they're done cooking.  And don't expect the meatballs to form like 'normal' meatballs with bread crumbs - they will be very soft.  But don't fear! Just drop them in and let them cook!

Simmer the soup after all the meatballs are dropped in until they are done.   I just let mine simmer for 20 minutes or so, turned off the heat, covered it and let it sit a while because dinner was still an hour or so away.  Then salt and pepper the soup to taste!  You can add some fat like tallow or ghee into the soup as well! 

Variations: It would be so easy to do variations to suit your taste, how much broth you need, what vegetables you like, etc.  Here are some ideas, and I am sure you can easily come up with your own! 
  • Use different broths - I used beef, but I am sure chicken would be good too! 
  • Use more broth to make a thinner soup, and that could help stretch it farther as well. 
  • Add other veggies to the soup - either to puree with the cauliflower or chopped/diced and simmered in with the meatballs. I think peas would be super yummy and go really well with the creaminess of the soup and the meatballs.  
  • You could totally try chicken meatballs - puree boiled chicken and then mix with egg and seasonings and form into meatballs.  Definitely not the same as beef, but maybe it could be good? 
  • Sneak some ground liver into the beef meatballs! 
  • Serve over spaghetti squash as meatballs and 'gravy'.  It's that thick :-).  
  • Different herbs would make fun variations!   
This isn't the most exciting recipe, but we really enjoyed it (both our little boys ate it well!) and it's a nice option for early stages instead of just broth-y soups.  It's very filling, too! 

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