Take two frustrating attempts to make a different stuffed green pepper soup and a wonderful blizzardy day and you end up with a soup that mirrors a stuffed green pepper, exactly! There's nothing like dogged determination and lots of time to get something right. I wanted a rich sweet pepper soup that had the delicate flavour of tomatoes and the ability to bite into a meat/rice mixture, just like a real stuffed pepper. This recipe is two parts: first, the Porcupine Meatballs, which can be made a day or two ahead. Then, the Tri-Colour Pepper Soup, which is a stand alone soup that I've been making, and enjoying, for years. If you enjoy a lot of meat, you might want to double the meatball recipe; for our tastes, this is perfect, with 4-5 meatballs served in each bowl. The taste of this soup is quintessential 1950's style Stuffed Green Peppers. If you can tolerate more heat, then jazz it up to your hearts content! This way, you won't find the recipe "too bland", which is how we like it---pure comfort food straight from Leave It To Beaver. Enjoy the meatballs or enjoy the pepper soup, or, enjoy them blended together for the best of all worlds with this stuffed pepper soup! Using the three colours of peppers just adds some fun and depth to it.
Ingredients for Porcupine Meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1⁄4 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, snipped (or 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley)
- 2 tablespoons onions, chopped fine
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 dash pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can tomato soup, minus 1/4 cup used with meat
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Ingredients for Tri-Colour Pepper Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 Spanish onion (chopped fine, mine was about 3-inch diameter)
- 2 red peppers (cut into 1/2 inch wide by 1.5 inch long strips. My peppers were about 4 inch across)
- 2 green peppers (see above)
- 2 yellow peppers (or orange peppers, see above)
- 4 cups chicken stock (I use Swanson brand)
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I use Del Monte Petite Diced Tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Directions for Porcupine Meatballs:.
- Combine ground beef, rice, egg, parsley, onions, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce , and 1/4 cup of the tomato soup. Stir well to combine.
- Lay out waxed paper or a platter to place the meat balls onto.
- Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop up a measure of the meat mixture and just lay out on the waxed paper. You will form them into perfect meat ball when you are done scooping them up. I get 30-31 meat balls from this recipe. When you are done scooping up the meatball mixture, form them into round balls.
- Heat the tablespoon of butter in a large Texas skillet. Place meatballs in the fry pan and allow the bottoms to brown slightly before turning. I've found that a coffee scoop makes the perfect tool to turn the meatballs without them breaking into pieces. This will take about 5 minutes to slightly brown the sides.
- While meatballs are browning, mix the rest of the tomato soup, water, and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl and pour over meatballs.
- Bring the tomato sauce to a boil in the skillet.
- Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 40 mintes or until meatballs are cooked and rice is soft, turning them every 5 minutes. This makes sure that all the rice has contact with the liquid so it plumps up.
- When meatballs and sauce are done, take skillet off the heat and set aside. While you are preparing the Tri-Colour Pepper Soup, the meatballs will "set up" so they don't break up in the soup.
- Directions for Tri-Colour Pepper Soup:.
- Melt one tablespoon of the butter over medium heat in a large Dutch Oven. Sweat the onions for 5 minutes until translucent and slightly yellow. I keep them covered during this process. If necessary, add additional tablespoon of butter so the onions do not burn.
- Add the three different coloured peppers, stirring well, to mix the soft onions and butter with the peppers. Set timer for 15 minutes; every 5 minutes, stir the peppers and onions and "taste test" the peppers to YOUR degree of doneness. We really enjoy a very soft pepper so it takes the full 15 minutes to achieve that texture.
- Add the four cups of chicken broth, the can of diced tomatoes, and the teaspoon of paprika and stir well, until combined. Empty the entire skillet of reserved meatballs and the sauce they cooked in to the Dutch Oven, stirring gently so the meatballs don't break up.
- Bring the soup to a boil, reduce down to a simmer and cover. Every 5 minutes, gently stir the soup. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately.