E: Happy winter! It was 37 degrees overnight in Gilroy. That is one of the coldest nights of the year. If you are in the mood for something warm, this soup is ideal.
First I have to say I’m sorry for not having blogged in awhile. I’ve been cooking, I just haven’t had time to blog about it. I’m a bit behind. Last weekend I ran a half-marathon and I injured my knee. I’ve been home for three days. Today is Veteran’s Day, so I’m off. Happy Veteran’s Day by the way. The weekend before that my parents came over. They had not visited for over seven months. It was nice to have them here. The weekend before that we went to a wedding, and before that we went on vacation. Long story short, life happens.
Somewhere in the middle of it I made albondigas or as my husband calls it, “meatball soup.” Albondigas are truly a comfort food. My sister Magda loves them. I like them too, but as a child I didn’t care for ground beef too much. Now I use ground turkey, it’s one of the better alternatives for us. My husband loves meat, and I feel better about giving him ground turkey over beef, and he definitely prefers it over no meat at all.
In looking up how to make albondigas, consulting with my mom and co-workers, I discovered that people make their albondigas pretty much the same. There are slight variations depending on what part of Mexico you are from. The main difference being that people use either cilantro or mint for the meatballs. Other small variations include, adding marjoram, or carrots, or chorizo in the meatball; and adding chipotle, or zucchini in the soup.
Here is the one I prefer, except not sure if I would add celery or not. Maybe I just didn’t have it on hand that day. I used chayote instead of zucchini. I think it holds up better, and I like that it’s so unique. I would describe it as a cross between a squash and a potato.
I made this soup with tomatoes from my garden, but feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have. Toodles.
2 lb ground turkey
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, sliced
2 chipotle peppers
16 oz whole cooked and peeled tomatoes (½ san marzano, ½ beefsteak)
1 32 oz. organic chicken stock
1 tea oregano
1 tea cumin
salt and pepper
2 Chayotes, cubed
4 small red potatoes, cubed
cilantro for garnish
Make meatballs first. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Form the meat into a 2 oz ball. Set meatballs aside in the refrigerator while you prepare soup.
Bring stockpot to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Add onions and carrots and saute until onions are golden.
Add garlic jalapeño and chipotle peppers and stir for another minute.
Add the cooked and peeled tomatoes. Add chicken stock. Add oregano and cumin. Bring to boil.
Add the meatballs. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add the chayote, potatoes. Cook for another 30 minutes or until meat is cooked.
Serve in deep bowls, garnish with cilantro, oregano, and avocado. Warm up tortillas and use for dipping into the sauce.