Cauliflower Soup with Tiny Meatballs & Oregano

This is very simple every day soup, it took me no more then 20 minutes to make it. This time I used all organic ingredients as well as grass-fed ground beef. Healthy food for after school meal. My kids loved it!

OREGANO from The Spice Cookbook, 1964

Oregano is native to the hillsides of the Mediterranean region, and is a perennial of the mint family. The name origanum, derived from the Greek ours, meaning mountain, and ganus, meaning joy, thus signified "joy of the mountain" to the Greeks 2000 years ago. It grew easily then, as it still does in Greece, Italy, and Spain.

In ancient times oregano was valued as much for its medicinal qualities as its savory flavor. The Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder, prescribed it as a cure for indigestion and first aid for spider and scorpion stings. In the Middle Ages physicians used a mixture of oregano and other herbs to "cleanse the brain" and improve sight. While Culpeper thought highly of oregano as a digestive, soothing to jittery nerves, and as a treatment for "the bites of venomous beasts," he was in accord with modern cooks when he wrote, "There is scarcely a better herb growing for relieving loss of appetite."


For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
  • small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small parsnip, coarsely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup oat bran + 1/2 cup hot water, mix together and let it stand for 10 minutes
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

For the soup:
  • 1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • fresh oregano
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5-6 cups vegetable stock or water
  • toasted pita bread for serving


Prepare the meatballs mixture: 
Using a food processor chop the onion, carrot and parsnip. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, oat bran, chopped vegetables, salt and the pepper. Mix gently with your hands. Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrot, celery and cook, stirring occasionally 3 minutes. Add the broth or water, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Add the meatballs (if you like to make the tiny ones, just scoop the ground beef mixture, using teaspoon, to the soup), and stir gently. Boil lightly for 5-10 minutes.

Add the cauliflower, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork, about 5 more minutes. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and serve with toasted pita bread and fresh oregano.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...
September 12, 2014 at 3:03 AM  

A scrumptious soup! Very original.



Medeja said...
September 12, 2014 at 4:24 AM  

Looks very flavorful.. I think for me such soup would be like a main meal :)

Marcela said...
September 12, 2014 at 4:30 AM  

oh! i love these tiny meatballs inside!

September 12, 2014 at 8:46 AM  

Very nice recipe, Yelena. I will definitely try this!

Greetings! - Dominique

La Table De Nana said...
September 12, 2014 at 8:55 AM  

We were at Jean talon market yesterday..The produce was gorgeous..
Rows and rows of multi colored cauliflower..and the romanesco too..
How delicious this sounds Yelena..

Meli said...
September 12, 2014 at 12:54 PM  

Hi, Yelena, greetings from Greece - the sunny home of origano and so many other tasty ingredients! I spend the last days of summer here but will be home in some days. Greek sprinkle a lot of origano on top of their most favorite Greek salad and I love it. Good, the season for eating a lot of cauliflowers is back again.

Yelena Strokin said...
September 12, 2014 at 12:59 PM  

Ooo, How wonderful, Meli! I never been in Greece, it was always a dream of mine. One day I'll take my family there for summer. I am so happy for you!!

Rebecca Subbiah said...
September 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM  

looks so good lucky family having you as a cook

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