Friday, July 6, 2012

Red Lentil and Barley Soup with Homemade Gluten-Free "Meatballs"

Inspired by my recent realization that masa is the key ingredient for a nice, dense veggie "meat." These meatballs are gluten-free and stand up to soup and sauces without falling apart.

This is really two recipes in one blog post. The meatballs are time intensive when it comes to length of cooking, so make them ahead of time. The can also be frozen.

Meatball Ingredients:

4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery powder
2 cups of shredded cheese
1 cup masa flour
3/4 cup of finely chopped nuts of your choice
2 cups of vegetable broth

Combine all of the ingredients, except the broth, in a bowl and let sit for 20 minutes to thicken. Then form into 1 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. They should be browned and firm.

Then place the meatballs in a casserole dish and pour two cups of vegetable broth over them. Cook at 350 for 45 minutes.

At this point you can freeze them or throw them into your favorite sauce or soup recipe.

For our lentil soup:
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 carrots, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp each cumin and chili powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 boxes (8 cups) of vegetable broth
1 can of diced tomatoes, or about 2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of lentils
1 cup of barley
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Saute the onion and celery until soft. Add in the garlic and the spices and cook until fragrant. Next add in the broth, carrot, lentils, barley, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the lentils and barley are soft, about 30 minutes, adjusting the liquid as necessary if it becomes too thick. Remove about 4 cups of soup and blend in a blender until smooth. Pour back into the stockpot.

Place the meatballs in the soup and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes if fresh, about 10 minutes if frozen.

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