Showing posts with label albóndigas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label albóndigas. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sopa de Albóndigas or Mexican Meatball Soup

When we were preparing to move to Cairo, I found a website that gives all kinds of personal advice, written by people who have been posted worldwide by the US State Department.  They clearly had a questionnaire they were following and I am sure this information was supposed to be for the benefit of other State Department folks but I came to it through a link from a friend (Thanks, Sabine!) and I wasted time researched, for many hours.  (Hey, you never know where we will go next!  Reading other country reports is still research.  Check it out!)  The questionnaire respondents were full of vital information about their postings in Cairo (and elsewhere) and I got a good laugh from many of the answers.  My favorite question though, because it was so unexpected, was “What would you leave behind?”  Some respondents didn’t answer this one.  But what I thought was the best answer, based on the annual Cairene weather forecast was ”An umbrella.”  And then, I moved to Cairo. 

The wind was howling last Friday and then the rain came on.  Yes, the rain came on.  Which, as you know, means – say it with me – a soup day.  And while a soup day in KL was JUST rainy, a Cairene soup day in February is also chilly.  Hallelujah!

LOOK! The aftermath:  It's all wet and our one piece of outdoor furniture
was blown clear into the yard by the strong winds.  Yeah, our shipment hasn't been delivered yet.
   Forty-four days and counting.  Thanks for caring.

I made a lovely soup adapted from a recipe in my Christmas cookbook, which you have all heard about before, Fried Chicken and Champagne.  This is not fancy but it has a lovely flavor that puts me in mind of tortilla soup.  I think it must be the cilantro (fresh coriander) and ground cumin.  I can highly recommend it.

For the soup:
1 tablespoon butter
Olive oil
1 small onion
1 medium carrot
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tomatoes
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano (I didn’t have any so I substituted regular oregano.)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 bunch of cilantro or fresh coriander
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock  (Water and stock cubes are fine.)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Sea salt
Black pepper

For the meatballs:
1 lb or 500g of ground beef
1 small bunch of cilantro or fresh coriander
1/4 cup of uncooked long-grain rice
2 eggs
Sea salt
Black pepper

Chop your onion and carrots and slice the garlic finely in the melted butter with a little drizzle of olive oil.   Cook until they are tender.

Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes, celery and cilantro.

When your sautéed vegetables are ready, add the tomatoes, cilantro, celery, then the cumin, oregano and cayenne. 

Add in the chicken stock and the tomato paste and the half-teaspoon of sugar.

Bring to the boil and then let this simmer while you make your meatballs. 

For the meatballs, chop the cilantro finely and mix it in well with the ground beef, rice, eggs and a good sprinkle of the salt and pepper.

Using a couple of teaspoons, drop small amounts of the mixture onto a flat surface and then roll them into little balls.  As you can see, I got 30+ meatballs out of my mixture.

Drop the meatballs gently into the simmering soup and stir very carefully to separate them.  You do not want to break them up.  

Simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until you are sure the meat and rice in the meatballs are cooked.  

You can garnish with some additional cilantro to serve, but I completely forgot that step.