I can’t remember where, when or from whom I learned this recipe, but I’ve been making this flavorful soup since I was about 13. I generally cook it on the stove, it’s fast and easy…but this time I put it in my crockpot and we loved it. Same great taste and it was there waiting for me when I got home from work.
Meatball Ingredients: yield 20 meatballs
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 2 eggs
- a quarter of an onion,
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 2 tsp Mexican Oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Instant Corn Masa Mix, (you can also use minced corn tortillas, or bread crumbs)
Soup Ingredients: serves 4 to 5 people
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 @ 28oz can of whole tomatoes, juice and all, slightly crush the tomatoes
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 cups chicken broth, (you can use beef broth, I just prefer chicken)
- 4 corn tortillas, quartered, thinly sliced
- vegetable oil
Make ahead if cooking in a crockpot the next day or later in the week: In a medium bowl place the ground beef, eggs and 1/4 cup of the Masa mix. In your food processor add the 1/4 of onion, Mexican Oregano (there is no substitute for this spice, Italian Oregano doesn’t have the same flavor.), salt, black pepper and cumin. Pulse until the onion is well minced. Add the onion and spice mixture to the bowl and with your hands combine the meat, eggs, masa and onion mixture until well mixed. (If needed add a bit more Masa. You want the meatball mixture to be firm yet moist.) Roll the meat mixture into 1-inch balls, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for about an hour. Once the meatballs have frozen you can transfer them to a freezer ziplock bag to be stored until you are ready to assemble you soup.
When your ready to cook the soup place your frozen meatballs in the crockpot, add the celery, onion, carrots, tomatoes, sugar and chicken broth. Stir a bit, cover and cook on low all day long.
When it’s time to eat: In a medium skillet over medium to medium-high heat add vegetable oil until it measures about 1/8-inch deep. Once the oil is hot, add a few of the sliced corn tortilla strips and fry until they crisp up a little. Remove to drain on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt to season. Use these crisp strips as a garnishment in the soup, kinda like crackers in tomato soup.
Suggestions: You can also make my Abondigas Soup on the stove top also. No need to freeze the meatballs, just refrigerate them for 1 hour prior to cooking the soup so they firm up. Add all the soup ingredients, bring them to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, gently slip in the meatballs and continue to simmer the soup for 30 minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked.
For your children try adding some cooked pasta after the soup is done cooking. If you want it spicier, add a diced jalapeno to the soup.