It’s been so much warmer here than we’re used to in December- mostly mid-70s. It’s not uncommon to have a day or two of warm weather in the winter, but we’ve had an honest spring revival here. My hydrangeas are budding, the cherry blossoms are blossomed, and my Facebook feed is full of children swimming in pools, washing cars in swimsuits, and feeding the reindeer in barefeet.
I’ll be honest, I don’t have the wardrobe diversity or the skin tone for a long warm-spell in December, but I wouldn’t mind a good wedding right about now. A fragrant bouquet, a cute boy in a bow-tie, a bourbon cockail drunk on herbs, a good band, and an even better cake. That is the stuff a southern summer is made of.
I won’t lie; I live for those nights.
And here’s the good news: once Spring actually shows up, we’ll be full-swing in wedding season. It’s my second favorite sport season outside of football, and I’m so excited that this year whole bunch of my track girls get married. (I was a track coach in a former life, and aside from my own people, they are my very favorite humans on earth). One day I will talk about the power of a small group of women with a goal, but today we’ll just talk about soup.
I am never more in love with social media than I am during wedding season because of all the beauty and attention to detail. Never underestimate the power of a love-stricken woman and a few hydrangeas. You can’t even imagine.
But until then we have soup and movies and men that smell good.
When summer comes, we’ll change up the herbs and spices, and maybe even the proteins, but the base will remain the same.
During the winter you can serve this with a roasted beet salad, simple champagne vinaigrette, and a loaf of crusty sour dough.
Don’t worry though, when summer comes around we’ll revamp it, change up the salad, make a light dressing, add an herb butter to the bread, and your life will be changed.
That’s how we do it down here.
See y’all soon!
- ½ yellow onion grated
- 2 tablespoons of fresh sage, minced
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon almond meal
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese (get the good stuff with lots of flavor- nothing in a can!!!)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ to 1 teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper
- 1 pound ground beef, grass-fed (or use chicken or turkey if you prefer)
- ½ pound lean ground pork sausage WITHOUT fillers, nitrates, etc. (I use local hand-packed sausages that have basil and peppers in them. I simply cut them out of their casings. Don't use breakfast sausage.)
- 1-2 Tablespoons of bacon fat (butter or olive oil will work too)
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 10 cups chicken stock (MAKE YOUR OWN - if you haven't, then use what you can buy, but buy the best you can find.)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspooon pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 cups chopped collard greens (or bok choy, or chard, or spinach)
- Hot sauce (We use Southern Gentlemen)
- Chopped scallions
- Grate the onion and combine with sage, parsley, garlic, almond meal, parmesan, salt, pepper, beef, and sausage.
- Form into 1-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Put in the refrigerator to chill.
- Heat the bacon fat in a 7 quart stock pot or cast-iron pot.
- Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft.
- Add the chicken stock, salt, pepper, pepper flakes, and oregano and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the meatballs. Cover and let cook about 6-8 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and floating on the top.
- Stir in the greens. (or spinach or bok choy or kale if your family doesn't love greens yet) and cook until wilted.
- Serve in bowls with a dash or ten of hot sauce and a sprinkling of scallions.
- Eat, y'all!