Maggi meatball soup started out as “groentesoep met balletjes,” or Dutch vegetable soup with meatballs, which I guess it still kind of is? It kind of is. Maggi, the shorthand name for Maggi-Würze, is a sweet, soy-based seasoning sauce Dutch people (and not just Nick) use in abundance, whether a dish needs it or not. It’s actually a rather international thing – Maggi sauce spans continents, and is used everywhere from the Netherlands to the Philippines, from Germany to Pakistan. It’s sweet, very salty, and keeps forever without needing to be refrigerated, and it’s great for seasoning meatballs.
This soup is somewhere between Italian Wedding and plain old chicken soup, with soft, tender meatballs, noodles and veggies in a clear chicken broth. If you are like my mother-in-law, you would serve this with soft, buttered buns and thin slices of deli ham and Gouda; if you are like me, you will retrieve half a loaf of grocery store garlic bread from the depths of your freezer and then burn it under your broiler while you eat half a bag of pre-dinner chips and lose 15 minutes Googling Maggi’s origin story. If you are like my four-year-old, you will drown three handfuls of goldfish crackers in the broth and claim it is too hot to eat long after your small bowl of soup has gone cold.
Anyway, this is good with whatever you want to serve it with, but it’s best with soft white bread in some fashion.
Maggi meatball soup
- 1/2 lb. extra lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. Maggi seasoning sauce
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 carrots, quartered lengthwise and then chopped
- 2 celery stalks, quartered lengthwise and then chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tsp. coarse salt
- 2 tsp. yellow curry powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken stock
- 1/2 cup fine egg noodles
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
In a large bowl and using your hands, mush together meatball ingredients until well mixed. Form meatballs about half an inch (1.25 cm) in diameter; you should end up with about 40. Set these aside.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, add oil, carrots, celery, shallot, and garlic, and cook for about two minutes, until colours have brightened and everything’s coated in oil. Add salt, curry powder, and the bay leaf, and cook for another minute or two, until the curry is fragrant and starting to stick a little bit to the bottom of the pot. Add stock.
Bring the pot of soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Drop the meatballs into the pot, stirring gently, and let these simmer for 10 minutes.
Add egg noodles,. and cook for another five minutes or until noodles are al denté.
Taste the soup. Adjust salt to taste. Add lemon juice, and parsley, remove the bay leaf, and then serve.