About 8 years ago I was left alone for the afternoon. I decided I wanted to make an albóndigas soup. I went through numerous recipes online and found this fantastic recipe on Epicurious. I didn’t have all the ingredients so I did the best I could with what I had on hand. It turned out fantastic, meatballs are one of my favourite all-time foods to make. The thing that threw me in the recipe was the call for Salsa to be used, then I thought about it and man I don’t want to make salsa from scratch. It is a definite time saver.
Now over the years I changed the recipe to suit my tastes. I’ve made it with ground chicken instead of beef or pork. I’ve settled on the a beef/pork mixture, I’ve also decided to puree the broth instead of the more rustic look. Also I don’t add the rice to the broth to cook, I make it separately and ladle the soup over the rice in a bowl, i found that the rice gets over cooked and makes leftovers disgusting. My biggest change is the addition of a topping that I use in my Spanish Omelette recipe. It really hit’s it out of the park.
So much like the original recipe that inspired me, this has become a Christmas Tradition in my house, I make it every year for Christmas Eve usually. As with most soups I think it always tastes better the next day. So make it ahead of time if you can.
Please enjoy, share the recipe with your friends.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups chopped sweet onions
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 small bay leaves
- 5-6 cups of beef broth
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1/2 cup salsa (I prefer pace thick and chunky)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup of panko bread crumbs (any bread crumbs works)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup of parsley
- 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
- 2 shallots, peeled and very finely sliced
- juice of 1 lemon
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
Take a small mixing bowl add the Shallot’s, Parsley, Lemon Juice, Sea Salt, Pepper and about a tablespoon of Olive Oil and set aside.
Cook some long grain rice in a rice cooker. If you don’t know how to do that then you should just leave now. Tip: Under cook a bit as the rice will soak up the broth.
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion onions, 3 garlic cloves and bay leaves; cook until translucent. Add the canned diced tomatoes, broth, salsa. Stir to combine and then add the chopped cilantro. Cook on med-high until the broth reduces 1/4-1/2. Turn the heat down and let simmer. Once the broth has cooled down a bit take a handheld blender and puree it down until the onions, salsa and cilantro reach a nice consistency (you can remove the bay leaves before you puree, it has served its purpose).
Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, breadcrumbs, whole milk, egg, salt, pepper, crushed red chili flakes, cumin, 3 garlic cloves, parmesan and the parsley. Form meatballs into pingpong/golf ball sizes. Bring your broth temperature up to Medium High and drop the meatballs in. Once the Meatballs float to the surface they are pretty much done, reduce to a simmer, personally I let the soup simmer for another hour or two but you can serve at anytime.
To serve this wonderful soup, depending on the size of the bowl add some rice to the bottom of the bowl. Scoop out 3-4 meatballs (5 if you are me) and place in the bowl. Ladle the broth over top, Put a dollop of sour cream in the middle, take a spoonful of the Shallot/Parsley topping and add it over the sour cream, add some Hot Sauce for an extra little kick.
Please share this recipe if this sound remotely appetizing.