Remember I said I was going to start cooking again?
Now, I don't mean like making basic food that meets the nutritional requirements of a family. I mean like, really cooking... like, making something with love.
This week, I decided to make one of my favorite comfort foods: Albondigas Soup.
Albondigas Soup is a popular meatball soup in Hispanic communities and can be found in most Mexican restaurants. (If it's not, slowly get out of your seat and walk away... those are not real Mexicans!)
The basic ingredients of Albondigas Soup are simple, but as you'll notice, I've made some adjustments.
MAKING THE ALBONDIGAS
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef*
- 1/2 lb soyrizo**
- 1/2 cup of rice (make a little extra to throw in the soup)
- 1 egg
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- salt & pepper to taste
* For the ground beef, I used the leanest I could find: 85/15. I wouldn't try to substitute it for turkey as the beef really makes the broth.
** As for the chorizo substitution, I might get some angry emails over this, but I am a HUGE fan of Soyrizo. Yep... soy chorizo. Regular chorizo is super yummy, but can be really greasy, and you know it leaves you feeling weighed down later. Soyrizo is a fantastic substitute. The only thing you'll notice is that you're not feeling like you have a pound of manteca lard in your belly. And guess what? Nobody noticed the difference.
Feel free to add a couple more cloves of garlic, if you're a fan. I am, so I used about five cloves.
Oh! And some people like to add a tiny bit of chopped mint leaves to the mix. Not too much, or BLECH!!!
Combine all the ingredients. Roll the mixture into balls. Make sure to put some pressure on them when rolling. You don't want them to be loose and fall apart in the soup. Once you've made all the meatballs, set them aside and get to work on the actual soup.
THE ACTUAL SOUP
- 6 cups broth (chicken or veggie)
- 1/2 an onion, chopped
- 3-4 diced tomatoes
- 1 Tblspn can of tomato paste
- 1 tspn ground cumin
- 1 tspn dried oregano
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 cups of assorted veggies
- salt & pepper to taste
The veggies you'll usually find in Albondigas soup are yellow squash, zucchini, carrots, and celery. You can also throw in a handful of peas to the mix. Include some or all, it's up to you.
Combine all ingredients except for the squash, zucchini, and/or peas (those will be added at the end). Bring the soup to a boil and then set it to simmer for about 10 minutes. Now you're ready to drop the meatballs in. Raise the temperature up just a tiny bit to make sure it's good and hot because those balls are going to have to cook all the way through. Cook for about another ten minutes, then add in the little bit of extra rice you had from making the albondigas. Then add in the squash, zucchini, and/or peas. Ten more minutes of simmering and the Albondigas Soup is ready!
Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze and top with a little fresh cilantro. For extra yums, top with avocado slices.