Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Mom's Albondigas Soup

As promised, I am sharing another treasured family recipe;  My Mom's Albondigas Soup (or Meatball Soup). This soup has been a tradition in my family home since I was a baby. Mom cooks up a big pot at least once a month. I did a little research and found out that Albondigas Soup dates back to the sixth century. I guess the Spanish brought it over to Mexico, hmmmm… and I thought us Mexicans invented it!
    Well you’re in for a treat with my Mom's Albondigas Soup recipe which has been passed on through the generations originating with my Great-Grandmother. It has probably seen some improvement over the years, but honestly, in my book, it has just been perfected.    
I made this soup for our Freezer Meal Swap Group a few months ago and was immediately asked for the recipe. It is hearty and perfect on a cold day. My family usually serves it with warm, homemade tortillas. 
I hope you give the recipe a try and that it becomes a favorite in your home as well!

My Mom's Albondigas Soup
Makes 1 large Pot
Serves 6

 ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium size tomatoes (chopped)
½ of medium yellow onion (chopped)
10 cups of hot water
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
3-4 tablespoons chicken bouillon
2 medium size zucchini (cut into 2” rounds)
3 carrots (cut into 1” slices)
3 stalks of Celery
2 springs of mint
1 cup of cilantro

Albondigas (Meatballs):
2 pounds ground beef 80/20 blend  (or for healthier version , use ground Turkey)
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 finely chopped garlic clove)
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
2 eggs
10 mint leaves finely chopped
½ of medium yellow onion (finely chopped)
½ of medium tomato (finely chopped)
½ cup white rice (NOT cooked and no minute rice)
1 tablespoon cilantro (finely chopped)
½ tablespoon dried oregano

Add oil, tomato, onion to a large soup pot.   Saute at medium heat for 5 minutes

Add 10 cups of hot water. Bring to a boil.
Add pepper, garlic powder, chicken bouillon.  Bring to a boil. Taste for salt ( if you need to, 
add another tablespoon of chicken bouillon).

Reduce heat to medium and let simmer. (Do not zucchini, carrot, celery, mint or cilantro yet)

Making the Albondigas:
Add ground beef and all of the other meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

Using your hands, mix meats until all the ingredients are well combined.   (like meatloaf). But do not over mix.  

Make into ice cream scoop size balls. 

Bring heat back up to high on the soup.  Carefully drop the meatballs into the soup. Do not stir otherwise the meatballs will break.  Once the soup is at boiling point, stir only once. 

Add lid and reduce heat to medium/low. Cook for 30 minutes

After the 30 minutes, add the remaining vegetables and herbs.

Bring heat back up to medium high.  Cook for an additional 20 minute.  Turn stove off, serve hot.