One-pot meatball chowder may not be pretty, but it’s tasty

Meatball and Yogurt Chowder.
(Photo for The Washington Post by Deb Lindsey; tableware from Crate and Barrel)
Story by Bonnie S. Benwick
(The Washington Post)
Thu, Mar 14, 2013
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Oh, dear. I wish this dish looked better. But what can you do? Greek-style yogurt stirred with tender meatballs might not blend in quite so smoothly. But it comes together easily — in one pot! — and tastes good. Promise.

Serve with warm pita bread.

Meatball and Yogurt Chowder

  • 15 ounces canned no-salt-added chickpeas
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/4 cup dried brown lentils
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90-10 percent)
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh dill fronds
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 3 cups whole-milk plain yogurt, preferably Greek-style

Drain and rinse the chickpeas; place them in large saute pan along with the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion.

Once the water comes to a boil, add the lentils and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Reduce the heat to medium-high; cook, covered, for 10 minutes.

While the lentil mixture cooks, combine the onion, the ground beef and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a mixing bowl. Use all of the mixture to form about thirty 1 1/2-inch meatballs.

Uncover the saucepan and carefully add the meatballs, making sure they are just covered by the liquid. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes, turning them a few times to ensure even cooking.

Finely chop the dill.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the dill, then add the spinach in two or three additions, allowing each addition to wilt a bit before stirring it in. Cook for about 3 minutes, then stir in the yogurt, being careful not to break up the meatballs. Cook just until warmed through. Taste, and add salt as needed.

Divide among individual bowls. Serve hot. About 10 cups (4 to 5 servings)

Per serving (based on 5): 430 calories, 39 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams fat, 9 grams saturated fat, 75 milligrams cholesterol, 1130 milligrams sodium, 8 grams dietary fiber, 7 grams sugar

— Adapted from “One-Pot Wonders,” by Clifford A. Wright (Wiley and Sons, 2013)

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