Veal Meatball and Broccoli Rabe Stoup

A “stoup” is somewhere between a soup and and a stew – don’t forget to serve this stoup with crusty bread for mopping up all the delicious flavors! If you have room, serve with Hot Spiced Apples with Dulce de Leche Ice Cream for dessert.


  • 1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe (1 large bunch), trimmed and cut into large, bite-size pieces
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 cloves garlic, 1 minced, 3 chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can white beans or cannellini (15 ounces)
  • Black pepper
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable stock
  • 1/3 pound orecchiette, little ear shaped pasta, or ditalini, small, tube shaped pasta
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (a couple handfuls)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano cheese (a generous handful), plus some to pass at table
  • 2-3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • Crusty bread, for mopping


Bring a couple inches of water to a boil in a medium skillet. Add salt to boiling water. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for 7-8 minutes. Drain rabe and reserve.

While rabe cooks, heat a medium soup pot over medium to medium-high heat with two tablespoons EVOO. Add three cloves chopped garlic, carrots and onions. Cook 5-6 minutes; add white beans and heat through, one minute. Season veggies and beans with salt and pepper. Add drained rabe and the stocks and cover pot to bring to a quick boil. Add orecchiette and stir. Reduce heat and simmer stoup to a low-rolling boil, uncovered.

Mix veal with egg, remaining clove minced garlic, breadcrumbs, cheese, sage and salt and pepper. Roll into 1-inch balls and drop into stoup. Cook five minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve stoup in shallow bowls with crusty bread.

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