This soup is a childhood comfort food. My mother’s grandma Olsen used to make this soup for her, and now my mother makes it for my children.
Boil a beef soup bone and 1 shank of short ribs for several hours until you get a good broth (Grandma Faun says that the neck bone is the best, but I have never found a butcher that has neck bones in Utah). Strain away bones and place broth in fridge to let the fat settle to the top and set. Mom says that she usually does this the night before she is planning on making the soup. Remove from fridge and discard fat. Season the broth really well, until you like the flavor of it. Chop 1 bunch of celery and slice several onions and add to broth. Peel and slice a lot of carrots and add. While the vegetables cook, make the cuballs. Grandma Faun makes these just like you would meatloaf, except she doesn’t add ground pork, just ground beef. You still season it with salt and pepper and sage and bind it with egg and flour. Grandma tastes her meatball mixture raw to see if it tastes right. I make a sample meatball and cook it in the broth to test it. Usually you can rely on smell though. Using teaspoons you drop little meatballs into the broth, much the same way that you would drop cookies. Grandma says to make a lot of meatballs because that is what Grandpa always picks out of the soup first. She also says that it is really important to make sure your broth is well seasoned or the soup will taste bland. When the meatballs are done, the soup is ready to eat.