I just want to pat myself on the back for waiting until it's a tadddd bit cooler here in Southern California before making soup! I held out all summer, thank you very much.
It's a common joke that Mexicans have the odd habit of making caldos (hot soups) on the hottest days of the year. Nothing like playing outside as a kid, running around in the scorching heat and then going inside the house for lunch only to find out that mom or grandma had made soup! What he heck?! And also whyyyyy?! Well I've noticed lately that it's always on the hottest days that, I too, end up somehow craving/making/eating some sort of hot soup. Well I think I've put it off long enough.
I thought I'd share one of my favorite recipes with you guys. It's a twist on my grandmother's Albondiga (meatball) soup, which I grew up with and love. It takes me back to my childhood and spending time at my grandparents' house for days on end. I think most cultures have some sort of staple meatball soup or dish in their repertoire. Even in Mexico, recipes vary by region. Victor's family for example, make meatballs in tomato sauce with rice on the side. And the meatballs have the cooked yolk inside. Each meatball is also massive. In my family, we make it like this. Smaller meatballs with rice, herbs and spices cooked in vegetable soup. This version is also my favorite. It's easy, hearty, healthy, delicious and gluten-free! Perfect for fall and the upcoming cold weather!
What you'll need:
For The Meatballs
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used 96% lean from Trader Joes)
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
For The Soup
2 roma tomatoes
2 zucchinis, chopped
2 chayote squash, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons, or to taste, Knorr Chicken Bouillon
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 quarts water
1 lime for garnish
1 large pot
1 mixing bowl
1. Combine all meatball ingredients into mixing bowl. Mix well to combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Add water to clean pot and turn heat on high. Add the olive oil and the carrots.
3. In a blender, add tomatoes, garlic, chicken buillon, and cumin with 1 cup of water from the pot. Blend well. Throw mixture into pot. Add chopped onions and cilantro.
Bring to a boil.
4. While soup comes to a boil, remove meatball mix from refrigerator.
Roll meat into 1 1/2 inch medium sized meatballs.
Place on a separate dish.
5. When soup is boiling, reduce to medium heat. Gently drop in the meatballs one at a time. Do not stir.
5. Once all meatballs are in the pot. Allow soup to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the chopped zucchini and chayote squash. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Taste for salt.
6. Serve and garnish with lime wedges. Enjoy! It will be even better the next day so make sure to save some!