Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

French Onion Soup With Mini Meatballs

on December 9, 2014

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French onion, maybe, maybe not. I love a bowl of French onion soup, but this time, there’s a little something extra inside.

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Why can’t we take a traditional dish and add something extra to it. There’s no rules for that right? That’s just what I did. Mini meatballs mixed in with the caramelized onions, floating around in that delicious broth, and under all that glorious bread and cheese.

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I start in a large bowl with the flavorings for the meatballs first. Ricotta cheese, fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, Italian bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, and heavy cream. I mix this all together first before adding in the ground pork. This ensures that I won’t over mix the meat and cause me to have tough meatballs. I don’t want that. I add in the meat and mix together gently, just until the flavoring are mix though all the meat. Then I form them into meatballs using a small scoop, so they will all be the same size.

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Into the oven they go, at 350 degrees for around 40 minutes while I get the soup ready for this dish. In a heavy bottom pot, that’s been heating on the stove, I add some olive oil.

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After adding the oil to the pot I toss in the sliced onions, some salt, pepper, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes. I give that a big stir, then put the lid on and let the onions sweat for around 15 minutes or so, then I remove the lid. I let the liquid that the onions produce, evaporate. This is a slow process, stirring continuously, the onions will slowly cook down even more. I add in some fresh thyme leaves, a splash of dry sherry. I let this reduce and then add in a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce for some extra flavor. After having removed the lid, this process takes around 40 minutes or so of cooking to have the onions at the caramelized stage as you can see above. Next for the liquid,

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For the liquid, I mix low sodium chicken broth and beef broth to this soup. I love the way the two broths mixed together work in this soup. After I’ve added the liquid in, I add a few dashes of a browning and seasoning sauce. This adds flavor but also darkens the color of the broth. Then I toss in the meatballs that have been cooking for around the same time as the onions. I bring this all to a bubble then reduce to a simmer for another 15 minutes. The meatballs will absorb that  wonderful flavor of the broth.

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When the meatballs come out of the oven I place some slices of baguette, into the same 350 degree oven,with a drizzle of olive oil on them, for about 5-8 minutes or until they are nice and toasty. I ladle some of the soup into their soup crocks, and lay the toasted bread over the top, with some slices of Provolone cheese. I place them up under the broiler, keeping a close eye on them, until the cheese if melted and golden brown. This take only a few minutes. So is it French onion soup or is it an Italian meatball soup with a kiss of French onion. Not sure, but what I’m sure of is, it is so delicious!

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Ingredients for meatballs:

2 pounds of ground pork
3 tablespoons of fresh Italian parsley (2 tablespoons of dried)
2 cloves of grated garlic
3/4’s cup of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of heavy cream
5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1-1/4 cups of Italian bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons of black pepper
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
2 extra large beaten eggs

Ingredients for soup; Yields 6 bowls

2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 large sweet onions sliced
2 cloves of minced garlic (optional)
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves ( 1 tablespoon of dried)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons of dry Sherry
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes of browning seasoning sauce
1 quart of low sodium chicken broth
3 cans of low sodium beef broth
1 loaf of baguette bread sliced and toasted (2 per soup crock)
18 slices of Provolone cheese ( 3 per soup crock)

Directions:
Set oven at 350 degrees. Then make the meatball mixture. Scoop and lay the meatballs out on baking sheet and place in the oven for 40 minutes. While this is happening start on the soup. Have your onions sliced and ready to go. Heat up your pot with the olive oil, add the onions in, the seasonings and let cook for 40 minutes following the method above. When the onions are done and caramelized, that’s when the meatballs will be coming out of the oven. Add your liquid to the onions then the meatballs. Next place the sliced bread into the 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Once the soup comes to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Ladle the soup into the crocks. Place 2 slices of the bread on each one with 3 slices of cheese. Set the soup crocks up under a broiler for just a few minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Ready to serve. This recipe yields 6 bowls. Only do the bread and cheese when you are ready to serve them. Otherwise bring the soup itself to room temperature and then refrigerate until your ready.


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