by Ed Halmagyi


  • 500g premium beef mince
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 small onions, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp hot chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1L quality beef stock
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 2 green capsicums, sliced finely
  • cooking oil spray
  • 2 avocadoes, diced
  • coriander leaves, mint leaves and sour cream to serve


1 Combine the mince, breadcrumbs, 1 onion, half the garlic, egg, chilli sauce and oregano in a bowl and beat well. Season with salt and pepper, then form into walnut-sized balls using damp hands. Using a little olive oil, fry in batches in a large saucepan over a medium heat until browned, then set aside.
2 In the same saucepan sauté the remaining onions and garlic with the celery and bay leaves in the remaining olive oil. Cook for 4 minutes until softened, then add the paprika, stock and tomatoes. Soak the saffron in ¼ cup warm water for 2 minutes, then add to the saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes.
3 Sprinkle the capsicum with cooking oil spray, then cook on a hot barbecue grill of ribbed griddle. Add to the simmering soup with the meatballs and cook briefly. Stir in the avocado, then serve with coriander, mint and sour cream.