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Chinese-ginger-meatball and Watercress Soup

8 oz Water chestnuts
1 lb Finely ground lean pork 4 1/2 ts Peeled and minced fresh ginger
Ground white pepper, to taste
1 1/2 ts Soy sauce 2 1/8 ts Cornstarch
Salt to taste


Serve as the first course of a traditional Chinese dinner or alone as a light nutritious supper.


MEATBALLS:


Finely chop 12 of the water chestnuts. Reserve the remaining ones for garnish. Combine the pork, ginger, chopped water chestnuts, soy sauce, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Mix well and form into balls 3/4 inch in diameter. These may be made in advance and frozen. Be sure to thaw completely in refrigerator before poaching.


SOUP: 5 cups Vegetable Stock 5 cups Chicken stock Salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 bunches watercress, chopped 3 green onions, finely chopped Bring the vegetable stock and chicken stock to a simmer in a large pot. Put a fourth of the meatballs in the broth and poach until they rise to the top. Remove and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining meatballs. About 20 minutes prior to serving, return stock to a boil and add the meatballs. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes (Note: Meatballs will be slightly pink in the center even after the second cooking.) Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Turn heat to medium low. Add the watercress and green onions. Cook, uncovered, for a few minutes until watercress is slightly wilted and bright green in color. Add the remaining water chestnuts and cook for 1 minute so that they remain crisp. Serve immediately.


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