Spanish Meatballs with Beans and Greens

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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2 slices stale white bread crust trimmed

1/2 cup milk, to soften bread

12 ounces ground beef

12 ounces ground pork

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons grated onion

1 round tablespoon smoked sweet paprika

2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

Handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

Olive oil cooking spray

Greens and Beans:

2 tablespoons EVOO

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red chile pepper, seeded and chopped

1 Spanish onion, chopped

Salt and pepper

1 large bundle flat lacinato kale or other dark greens such as escarole, stemmed and chopped or thinly sliced

6 to 8 cups of chicken stock

One 15- to 18-ounce can garbanzo beans or white kidney beans

Crusty bread, to pass


  1. For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Soak the bread in milk to soften in a small dish.
  2. Place the beef and pork in a mixing bowl. Squeeze out the milk from the bread and crumble into small bits as you add to bowl. Sprinkle the meats with salt and pepper, and add the onions, paprika, garlic, egg, cilantro and parsley. Mix thoroughly. Roll into 1 1/2-inch meatballs and arrange on a baking sheet. Spray with olive oil spray and bake until crispy on the outside, about 20 minutes.
  3. For the greens and beans: Meanwhile, heat the EVOO in a Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chiles and onions. Season with salt and pepper, and stir for 5 minutes. Wilt in the greens, and add the stock and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and add the meatballs. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Store in the refrigerator for a make-ahead meal.
  5. Reheat the soup over medium heat and serve with crusty bread.
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