Meatball and Artichoke Soup

In this unusual potage, little pork meatballs with a touch of cinnamon and pine nuts make an exceptionally tasty contribution to the soup from La Cocina De Mamá: The Great Home Cooking of Spain, a favorite cookbook by Penelope CasasBread is the thickening agent, as is so often the case with traditional Spanish soups, but which posed an issue for us since Russ has forgone wheat.

The fix? We would have used gluten-free bread, but we had none on hand. Instead, Russ stirred some of the broth with a heaping tablespoon of gluten-free flour and then mixed it back into the soup. Not ideal, but it was a satisfactory solution—no complaints on our end. The only other thing we’ll probably do different the next time around is double the amount of artichoke hearts.

It made for yummy lunches during the week.



  • 4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped pine nuts
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 3 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
  • 4-6 artichoke hearts, fresh or frozen, quartered
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika, preferably Spanish smoked
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1 slice good quality sandwich bread, crusts removed

The bread crumbs are soaked in chicken broth before adding the pork, pine nuts, bacon, parsley, cinnamon, garlic, and egg yolk.

Little meatballs are shaped by hand and lined up on waxed paper.

Whisk the egg white with a fork until foamy.


  1. In a medium bowl soak the bread crumbs in the 2 tablespoons chicken broth. Add the pork, pine nuts, bacon, parsley, cinnamon, garlic, egg yolk, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper to taste and mix well with your hands. Shape into meatballs not larger than 3/4 inch.
  2. In anther bowl, whisk the egg white with a fork until foamy. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a shallow casserole. Dip the meatballs in the egg white, then sauté in the hot oil until barely cooked through. Remove to a warm platter and wipe out the casserole.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in the casserole and slowly sauté the onion until softened. Stir in the paprika, then add the 4 cups broth, the artichokes, and the meatballs. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
  4. Break up the bread slice and combine in a small bowl with 4 tablespoons broth taken from the casserole. Whisk until smooth. Stir into the soup, taste for salt, and serve.


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