Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sopa de Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)

In college I rarely ate meat.  No, I wasn't a vegetarian, however I had two perceptions about meat.

#1 Meat is expensive and #2 it is fattening.

I was very conscious of what I ate back then [thinking it would affect my workouts],  and I was very poor.  I remember my family having cookouts and I would not even eat a hamburger!?  Crazy girl.
I don't remember what I was eating for those 5 years, but it must have been boring as hell.   I don't know why I just didn't get a little more creative in my college years.  Well, it was because I really didn't spend much time in the kitchen back then.  And there you have it.   My eating habits have changed; rarely do I turn down meat.  I do however look for lean cuts.

Ernesto, on the other hand, started all his cooking in college.  He moved from San Diego to Ohio, and really missed his mothers delicioso food.  He called her frequently to get her recipes.  I was very impressed when I met him that he was so into food, and not only that but he loved to be in the kitchen making it.  Many of our dates were late nights in the kitchen cooking dinner and to this day is our "hobby" as a couple.  I can't think of a better one.

This Sopa de Albondigas is one of my favorites from his mother.  Ernesto remembers eating a lot of soups and stews in his Mexican upbringing.  I would imagine there was a cost savings reason to serving soup to a family of 6, but it also happens to be a staple in Mexican cooking.    This recipe busts both my college perceptions by being very inexpensive to put together and very healthy.  (try to buy lean hamburger 93/7% fat)
It is a repeater for sure. Buen provecho! 

Ligia's Albondigas

Ingredients for broth:
1 small white onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 16oz can tomato sauce
8 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2 small zucchini, cubed
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 large russet potato, cubed 
1 can chipotles in adobo sauce

ingredients for meatballs:
1 lb lean hamburger
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup rice
1 egg
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1tsp garlic powder 
1tsp onion powder
1tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients meatballs in bowl and roll into golf ball sized balls.  In large stock pot, saute onions and garlic in one tbsp olive oil until translucent.  Add tomato sauce, water bouillon cubes and potato.  Add meatballs and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat.  Add the remainder of the chopped vegetables and cook for 15 minutes.  Serve hot with a chipotle pepper in the bowl!

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