For the meatballs:
- ½ kilo (1 lb) ground beef
- 1 egg
- 30g (¼ cup) matzo meal or plain breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 large sticks celery, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8 cups (480ml) beef or chicken broth
- 2 potatoes peeled and cut into squares
- 1 cup pearl barley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, mix well the ground beef, egg, matzo meal (or breadcrumbs), ketchup, mustard, and season with salt. Roll meat mixture into one inch balls, place them on a large plate.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat until hot, add the oil and heat until shimmering, add the ready-rolled meatballs, and fry on all sides until browned. Drain on a paper towel-lined tray and reserve until ready to make the soup.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat until hot, add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until all the vegetables are soft and cooked through 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds.
- Add the broth, cooked meatballs, potatoes, and barley. Turn up the heat, bring the soup to a boil. Lower heat to medium and partially cover with the lid of the pot and cook for 30 minutes until barley is cooked through and potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Soup can be made up to two days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to heat and serve. Just the meatballs can be made up to two days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge, or up to a month in the freezer until ready for use.