Monday, January 23, 2012

Albondigas Locas Soup (Mexican Meatball)

I stopped for a quick lunch last week at Sweet Tomatoes on W 7th St. in Fort Worth.  I like the fact that I can choose from a variety of fresh vegetables.  I skip all the heavy stuff and enjoy my salad with some light dressing.  I also selected a cup of soup from their big selection, called Albondigas Locas, and was pleasantly surprised.  It was spicy and had a mixture of vegetables and rice along with some little meatballs, but although it tasted good it was waaaay oversalted.  I decided right then and there that I would make my own version of that soup soon, which I did last night.  My soup, pictured, was absolutely delicious, however in my first recipe I used a lot more tomato.  I have changed my recipe to decrease the tomato because I will like it better, but you can't go wrong if you change this recipe to suit your own taste.  Roasting the meatballs on a rack allows the grease to drain before you put them in your soup.  This soup was not oily or oversalted like so many restaurant soups.  I hope you try it.  My husband ate 2 huge bowls and my picky daughter who says she doesn't like soup enjoyed it too.

Albondigas Locas Soup

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground sirloin (or turkey)
1/4 cup fat free milk
1 slice whole wheat bread  (or sub 1/2 cup cornmeal for gluten free)
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to Convect Roast 375, or bake 400
Place the bread in a large bowl.  Pour the milk on top and let it soak for a minute or tow.  Add the rest of the meatball ingredients, except the beef and mix well.  Add the beef and mix gently.  Form into 1 inch or smaller meatballs and place on rack on top baking sheet sprayed with non stick spray.
Bake until browned, 20-25 minutes.  Set aside to cool. 

Soup

2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken stock or a combination of chicken and beef stock ( I use Swanson reduced sodium)
1/2 cup long grain rice (or sub brown rice)
2-3 tomatoes, diced or 1 cup tomato puree or canned tomatoes
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce with 1 T sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1 zucchini, peeled, diced large
1 red bell pepper, diced
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
fresh limes
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large stockpot, heat the oil.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, and saute until onion is tender.  Add the garlic and stir about 30 seconds.  Add 8 cups of stock, rice, tomatoes, chile, cumin, and bay leaves.  Boil, stirring frequently so rice doesn't stick.  Lower to simmer and add the zucchini and red pepper.
Add the meatballs to the soup.  Simmer until the rice and vegetables are tender, 20-30 minutes.
Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime and chopped cilantro.
My husband wanted it to be like tortilla soup so he put crushed tortilla chips and grated cheese on top of his.

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