I, uh, wanted something unhealthy for dinner. Not really terribly unhealthy. Just a lot of cheese and some meat and …
“No.” Suzen said. She took the magazine from me, sat, turned pages, stood up and showed me a picture.
“You’ll like this. I’m making it.”
Now, at that point I had choice of actions, but not really. It was time to contemplate a dinner of soup, which reminded me of characters in a Charles Dickens’ novel. But I’m not allowed to say that.
Hours later, I was actually really happy. I even said, “More, please.” And I got more.
From Mexican by Better Homes and Gardens, this Mexican meatball soup comes with a surprise: pasta. It’s pasta and meatballs combined with pineapple relish and cranberries. This is a hearty, one-dish meal that is perfect for a winter night. You need to make meatballs, a lot of them, so I suggest this meal is good for a Sunday afternoon, when you are in the third quarter, the game is being, lost and everyone will welcome the distraction of rolling meatballs in their hands.
It needs to cook for hours, so beer and nachos are in order, whether your team is winning or losing.
Mexican Meatball Soup
Yield: serves 4 to 6
- ¼ cup masa harina
- ¼ cup warm water
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 8 ounces ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons finely snipped dried cranberries
- 2 garlic cloves, mince
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 32-ounce portion of reduced-sodium chicken broth1 16-ounce jar of peach, pineapple or mango salsa
- ½ cup frozen whole kernel corn
- ¼ cup crushed tortilla chips
- ¼ cup tiny pasta[pastina, stelline, or tripolini]
- ¼ cup sliced green onions, optional
- Red or green salsa, optional
- Sour cream, optional
Preheat the broiler. In a large bowl, combine the masa harina and the water. Add the ground pork, ground turkey, dried cranberries, garlic, oregano, sand salt. Shape into 1-inch meatballs. Place on a foil-lined 15X10X1 inch baking pan. Broil 4 to 5 minutes inches from the heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once.
In a 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, combine the meatballs, chicken broth, salsa, corn, and tortilla chips. Cover and cook on low-heat for 6 to 7 hour or on high heat for 3 to 3 ½ hours.
If using low heat setting, turn to high heat. Stir in the pasta, cover and cook for 30 minutes more or until tender. If on high heat, add the past and again cook for 30 minutes.
Stir in the ¼ cup of green onion before serving.
Optionally, top with additional green onions, or salsa, or sour cream, or any combination.
Source: Mexican by Better Homes and Gardens [a newsstand magazine]
Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-53MM Macro Lens, F/2.8, 1/100th second, ISO 1000
My daughter-in-law Michele grew up in Kansas City. But she went to college and graduate school in Texas and now lives in Austin. She is very proud of this soup. And I will say rightfully so.
You remember how French Onion soup seems so satisfying. Well, this is a serious rival. The broth and chicken provide substance. That thick top with cheese, avocados and tortilla chips is a delight itself. The combination of that rich top and the deeply flavored broth lets you relax and enjoy each spoonful.
I’ve had this dish for lunch and for the main meal. It’s a delight either way. I do suspect that Michele may sometimes try it for breakfast.
Michele’s Favorite Tortilla Soup
Yield: Serves 4-6
- 3 chicken breasts, poached
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1 8-ounce can green chiles, diced
- 2 8-ounc e cans stewed tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups beef bouillon
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 avocados, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup of broken tortilla chips
- 1 cup Mexican mix shredded cheese or Monterrey Jack chees
Poach the chicken breasts, cool, and shred. Set aside.
Sauté the onion, garlic and green chilies in oil until soft. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, and beef bouillon and shredded chicken. Mix in spices and simmer for 1 hour.
Place in bowls and cover with avocados, tortilla chips and cheese.
Place under broiler or microwave to melt the cheese if desired.
Source: Michele Barr O’Rourke