While soup is enjoyed in our household year-round, winter seems to be the best time to create a hearty recipe that warms you on the inside. This creation can probably be called Soupy Meaty Hearty Goodness, or just Meatball Lentil Soup...
We'll start with the ground beef from our fabulous meat CSA. I seasoned it with paprika, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Next, I added one egg and a couple of tablespoons of panko (bread crumbs). I had a dutch oven heating up on medium high heat while I formed the meatballs.
The meatballs went into a drizzle of olive oil to brown on all sides.
Yes, you have to actually turn them after they've browned!
While the meatballs brown, you can start chopping the vegetables. I chopped half of a large white onion that I already had, a couple of green tomatoes (I honestly don't remember why we had green tomatoes during this time, but they were good!), a large tomato from the grocery store that didn't taste like much anyway, and some kale.
After the meatballs have browned on all sides, remove the meatballs and set them aside nearby. Add a little bit of oil to the pot if you need to (I usually do because the CSA meat is so lean) and throw in the onions. Get them sweating in the pot, then add liquid in order to deglaze the pot. I used water, the last bit of a vegetable juice that I had, and a cup or so of beef stock. I also added a smidge of tomato paste that I keep in the refrigerator (it's in a tube so I can squeeze some in and put it away).