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Mexican Meatball Soup

November 12, 2010

Based on my line of work it is clear that I understand the importance of quick, easy dinners.  At the same time, I don’t think you should have to sacrifice using fresh, healthy ingredients just to get dinner on the table in 10 minutes.  As a result, I tend to avoid recipes that involve overly processed ingredients.  When I saw the recipe for the next soup I am going to share, I must admit I was fairly reluctant.  Salsa?  Why not use fresh tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices?  And to be honest, I think you still can, but I realize not everyone loves chopping vegetables like I do.  Plus, by using store-bought salsa you know the flavors have had time to meld together and it will be reflected in the final dish.

The ingredients in the meatballs were quite interesting and I must admit, quite delicious!

Once the meatballs were prepared, the soup came together very quickly.  Topped it off with some chips, fresh avocado and a touch of cilantro.

Mexican Meatball Soup
Yields: 4 Servings

1 pound Ground beef
2 Scallions (chopped)
1 cup Tortilla chips (crushed, plus more for serving)
1/4 cup Fresh cilantro (chopped, plus sprigs for serving)
1/2 teaspoon Ground cumin
Kosher salt
Black pepper
3 cup Mild jarred salsa (about 1 1/2 jars, each 16 ounces)
1 Avocado (cut into pieces)

1. Heat broiler. In a bowl, combine the beef, scallions, tortilla chips, cilantro, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls (about 24) and place on a broilerproof baking sheet. Broil until beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the salsa with 1 cup water. Transfer to a large saucepan, add 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs, reduce heat, and simmer until cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes.
3. Serve the soup with the avocado, cilantro sprigs, and tortilla chips, if desired.

Kate’s Tips:

I wasn’t sure how crushed the chips needed to be for the meatballs so  I filled a Ziploc bag and hand crushed the chips until they were in fairly small pieces.  I don’t believe it is necessary to grind them down all the way.

I let the meatballs cook in the salsa broth for a few minutes longer than the recipe recommended, just to ensure they were cooked through.  They came out perfect after 5-7 minutes.

Unless you really love spicy food, I would absolutely recommend using mild salsa as the recipe indicates.  Keep in mind you are essentially drinking a jar of salsa and anything spicier might be a bad idea!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2010 3:48 pm

    That does sound delicious. Anything that can be topped with avocado wins in my book.

    I bet you could use canned tomatoes and sautee up some onions and jalapenos and blend that in place of the salsa. It would add another ten minutes or so of prep, but much less than using fresh tomatoes. Kind of like a middle ground.

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  1. “Real Food” Makeover: Mexican Meatball Soup « Kate's Thoughts for Food Blog

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