Spicy tomato soup is fortified with kibbeh meatballs. (Stephen Osman / LAT)

Total time: About 1 hour, 45 minutes

Servings: 8

Note: Adapted from Poopa Dweck's "Aromas of Aleppo." A meat grinder is required for this recipe. Rice flour can be found at Asian markets and well-stocked supermarkets.

Kibbeh (meatball) filling

1/4 pound ground beef

1/2 cup chopped inner celery leaves

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

In a medium bowl, mix together the beef, celery leaves, allspice, salt and vegetable oil.

Kibbeh shells and assembly

1/2 pound chuck roast

1/4 cup rice flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Kibbeh filling

1. Grind the chuck roast in a meat grinder. Add the rice flour and salt and grind twice more until the mixture is smooth and well blended.

2. Roll the beef-rice mixture into 1-inch balls. In a small dish, combine the oil and lemon juice. Dip your index finger into the oil and lemon mixture (this keeps the shell mixture from sticking to your fingertip) and hollow each ball by using your fingertip to press the round ball against the palm of your hand, and firmly rotating that finger. The shell should be as thin as possible, about one-eighth inch, without allowing the filling to break through.