As I've mentioned before - I love one-pot dishes: entrees that incorporate proteins, starches and vegetables all in one. I'd never made Albóndigas soup in the past, probably because I thought that having to make all the meatballs would be time-consuming. And while it did take a bit of time, the end result was pretty rewarding - you can even enlist loved ones in forming the little round spheres.
Another old but excellent and easy one-pot standby, this hearty soup makes a regular appearance at our table every couple of months or so. As with many of these kinds of peasant soups and stews, there are an infinite number of variations. I believe at a minimum, the soup calls for some sort of green (kale, collards and cabbage are most common in the recipes I’ve seen cited); some sort of starch – usually potato; some form of allium – onion and or garlic; and finally, sausage. This time I used broccoli rabe (for the first time ever) and while it turned out delicious, perhaps sticking with sturdier greens is preferable. I also add tomato (which is not classic) since I like the acidity that comes from this component; other recipes that don’t include tomato sometimes call for the addition of a few spoonfuls of vinegar. Finally, in this last go-round I eschewed potatoes and included a cupful of pearled (fast cooking) farro.