Meatball Soup


        2 1/2 cups ground lean meat
        4 lbs. soup meat, cubed
        Several soup bones
        1/2 Cup samneh, or other shortening
        1 1/2 tsp. salt
        1/4 tsp. pepper
        1/4 tsp. cinnamon
        1/4 cup chopped parsley
        1/2 CUp tomato juice, or
        1 Tbsp. tomato paste and half cup water
        5 cups cold water
Grind meat several times. Mix well with salt and pepper. Shape into balls the size of marbles and brown in hot fat. Bring soup bones and meat to boil with water in pressure cooker. Skim. Cook under pressure for 20 minutes. Add meat balls, rice and tomato juice. Cook under pressure for 10 minutes. Remove bones. Add parsley and cinnamon just before serving. Makes approximately 10 servings.

This is a very old recipe and here is how it was originally prepared. Pound meat well in a stone mortar with a strong wooden mallet - called the jorn and modaqqa - with salt and pepper until meat becomes smooth and pasty. Shape into small balls and brown in hot fat. Brown soup bones in fat. Add tomato juice and seasonings. Simmer until meat balls are done. Add one half cup rice and cook until tender. Add parsley and simmer another three minutes. Add salt to taste.

(From Food from the Arab World Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Khayat's, Beirut 1959)