Albondigas Soup – Mexican Meatball Soup
Soup season has started once again in my household. It is early fall, and the falling of leaves from the trees typically indicates that it is time to hunker down with a nice bowl of comforting soup. It was this past weekend where I was going to make chili for my wife. She loves chili, especially on Sundays with a football game on. As I was about to get things ready for making chili, then paused, and realized that my wife also loved chicken tortilla soup, and this is when I realized that I would make an attempt to marry the two flavors and make a Mexican meatball soup. I was so thrilled I took that initial pause, and trust me, so did my wife. This could be one her new favorites.
- 1 cup of red onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 4 tomatoes, cooked
- 2 whole carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 chipotle pepper, chopped
- 1 cup of regular cabbage
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1 lb of ground pork
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 6 cups of beef stock
- 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup of long grained rice
- 1 cup of boiling water
Begin by scoring the tops of each tomato, then add them to a large pot of water. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Add the 1/2 cup of rice to 1 cup of the boiling water, cover, and set aside for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain, and place the rice into a large bowl. Remove the tomatoes from the pot, and let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the skins, and place into a blender or food processor.
Next, heat a skillet on medium heat, add one tablespoon of the oil, then toss in the onion and garlic. Saute for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are nice and tender. Toss this mixture into the blender along with the chipotle pepper. Puree the mixture until everything is nice and smooth.
Get your dutch oven or soup pot out, and bring it to a medium-low heat. During this time, add the beaten egg, ground meats, and the cumin, oregano, mint, cilantro, and salt and pepper into the bowl.
Mix everything really well. Yes, you’re going to get a bit messy, but don’t worry, it’s all worth it! Make sure everything is incorporated. Wet your hands, and make them into meatballs, about the size of a golf ball.
Add the tomato mixture to the soup pot, then add in the beef stock. Toss in the carrots and cabbage.
Get a large skillet out and heat the additional tablespoon of oil. Add the meatballs to the pan, realizing you will cook these in batches, and cook until you get a nice crust around the entire meatball. This will take several minutes per batch. Remove and place on a plate until you are ready to cook them with the soup.
Place the meatballs into the boiling stock, cover, and reduce heat to low, cooking for another 25 minutes.
When you are ready, ladle a bunch of the broth and a couple of meatballs into your soup bowl. Top with the diced zucchini, fresh cilantro, and cut up avocado.
The texture and flavor of the meatballs were out of this world, and the broth, well, it was perfect. Subtle heat from the chipotle pepper, was quickly reduced by the creaminess of the avocado. If you are looking for a really comforting, and heart soup, turn to this Mexican meatball soup, you will not be disappointed.