Red Pepper Soup and Black Bean "Meat" balls

I've been waiting all week to try this recipe. My kids were such great helpers making the meatballs. Nicholas loved mashing the beans and Brooklyn was my little meatball helper. She loves trying to roll into meatballs.

I was a little nervous about making this because I've personally never even tried red pepper soup so I wasn't sure what to expect.

I've also tried several meatless meatballs and patties and only a handful of them were amazing, but these are my new favorite. I think next time I'm going to sautĂ© the shallots before putting them into the mixture, or maybe even some caramelized onions! 

I was surprised my kids ate the soup, but theirs had shredded cheese on theirs! Mine was healthier and rather than sour cream, I put a little fagé yogurt in. This was so yummy! It's definitely a must try!
    For the soup:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 16-ounce jar roasted red peppers, undrained
  • 2 1/2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 sprigs of thyme (or about a tablespoon dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • dash sriracha or your favorite hot sauce
  • For the "meat"balls:
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt, to garnish
  1. In a wide-bottom pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions when it is nice and hot. Cook until they are starting to get soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Crush the 3 cloves of garlic with the side of a knife. Add them whole to the onions and continue to cook until the onions and garlic are starting to brown, about another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the 2 tablespoons of white wine (I used cooking wine) and cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated. It shouldn't take long, about a minute or so.
  4. Add the entire jar of roasted red peppers, liquid and all. Don't worry about chopping them.
  5. Add 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth and 2 sprigs of thyme, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the soup from the heat and discard the thyme stems. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup very well.
  7. If you don't have an immersion blender, let cool slightly then transfer the soup to a blender. Put the lid on, but leave the top spout open so that steam can escape. Hold a towel over the top with your hand and blend until smooth.Transfer the soup back to the pot and heat it up again.
  8. Season with pepper and Add a dash of hot sauce if you want (taste it first).
  9. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the drained black beans, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, panko bread crumbs, egg, paprika, shallot and pepper. Use a potato masher to combine the mixture and smoosh the beans.
  10. Form the bean mixture into 25-30 "meatballs." In a large saucepan over medium high heat, spray with cooking spray. Add the "meatballs" when it is hot, cooking in batches if necessary. Cook for a minute or two, until browned, then gently turn them with a spatula. Continue cooking and turning until all sides are browned. Repeat with the remaining "meatballs."
  11. Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and top with meatballs. Garnish with fresh basil, thyme, sour cream, or Greek yogurt. This would probably taste amazing with some fresh grated Parmesan.


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