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My German Nanny was not a good cook, but it was she who introduced this simple Fricadellen soup recipe to our family. Too little to help, I used to hang around kitchen looking how she was grinding, peeling and boiling. "What's cooking?" I would ask. "Frikadellen soup", Nanny would grouch, she didn't like me in the kitchen. And suddenly I felt so terribly hungry, and time started to crawl so slowly until the soup was finally done...

Since then (long time ago it was :) it has become one of our frequently cooked and loved soups. Traditional German Fricadellen are relatives of Russian cotelettes and meatballs, both of which use the same ingredients and have similar form - but not cooking style. In today's recipe tiny Frikadellen are prepared in a different way. This soup is a healthier way of cooking ground meat, since it is boiled not fried.

The soup is simple, and the only special skill you need is rolling small meatballs out of ground meat. It takes some practice, but what doesn't? I think slicing and dicing takes more skill than this. I used beef, but other meats can be used with the same result, but it is best if the meat was not very lean - it makes the meatballs more delicate. Actually most of this fat will boil out and can be skimmed.

This soup is always a pleasure to eat, and everybody likes it (the reward every home chef needs).
What you need:
3 qts filtered water
1/2 lb ground meat (beef, pork, lamb, turkey, chicken or their combinations)
1 small egg
1 medium yellow onion, peeled
2 medium potatoes (starchy type), peeled and cubed (1/2" cubes)
1 tsp Kosher salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Black pepper corns
2 Tbsp flour
1 bay leaf
Chopped greens
Time: about 1 hour
Feeds 4-6  people

1. Put a pot with water on high heat.
2. Cut a small portion of onion and grate it in a bowl. Add ground meat with 1/4 tsp salt, ground pepper, and 1 small egg (if it's a large egg the meat mass can become too soft to form meatballs; if it happens, add 1 tsp flour). Mix with a spoon or your hand until well incorporated and not sticking to the bowl.
3. With a tea spoon scoop small portions of meat on a flat plate. Roll each portion between your palms to form a small meatball about 1" diameter. Use slightly wet hands to do this, if meat is sticky.
4. Roll each ball in flour, and shake off the excess by rolling it between palms. Working swiftly, repeat with all the remaining meatballs. Drop meatballs into boiling water (it should be boiling at this point). Reduce heat to medium, remove the foam from the surface. Slightly shake the pot to avoid the sticking of meatballs to the bottom. Boil for a minute and let the meat harden.
5. Add potatoes, 3/4 tsp salt (or less if you prefer less salty food), and black pepper corns, reduce heat to simmer.
6. While soup is cooking, chop the remaining onion and saute it in 1 Tbsp oil until nicely caramelized.
7. When potatoes are almost ready, add onion and bay leaf to the soup, taste for salt (you might use less or more of what is in the recipe). Keep in mind that potatoes absorb a lot of salt, so soup might seem salty, but at the end it will need some adjustment. Simmer until potatoes are completely done.

Serve with chopped greens of your choice. Enjoy!

This soup can be called kid-friendly. As a child, I loved Fricadellen soup, so did Masha when she was little. She still loves it and has been asking me for a long time to post it (How long can you procrastinate with this recipe?.. :)
This is a basic recipe that you could "embellish" to your taste and mood of the day: add leek, carrot, sweet pepper, garlic, and what not.
Tags:    easy meat potatoes soup
Summary: a easy soup recipe
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