mexican-meatball-soup
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FALL IS COMING: mexican meatball soup

Fall is right around the corner in Buenos Aires and we are already stepping up our soup game. This is one of our absolute favorites. También en español

Leer la receta en español aquí.

I love spring in Buenos Aires. Correction: I love the beginning of spring in Buenos Aires. But give it a month and those beautiful jacarandas in bloom become a dreaded reminder that very soon your querido Capital Federal is going to become a cesspool of sweat. Other peoples sweat. Just flying around in the air bitch slapping you. Appetizing, no? Disclaimer: as soon as the thermostat gets close to touching 0°C I am going to be bitching about wanting summer back, and the cycle of complaining will continue.

What I love more is this moment, that pristine place between summer and fall. The weather is just right and one of my favorite meals is soon going to be on maximum rotation in my kitchen. Soup. Every kind you can imagine. No side dishes necessary.

This soup in particular is due to a goldmine find in Barrio Chino. While I waited for the fish monger at Asia Oriental to clean out some fresh catfish I dipped into a new market across the street. What I saw mostly disturbed me: single cans of chinese knock-off Dr. Pepper going for $56 a piece, steeply priced can beer amongst other giladas, and then I stopped dead in my tracks. CHIPOTLE PEPPERS in Buenos Aires. I don’t exaggerate when I say that I have written La Costeña headquarters to try to get pity shipments of canned chipotle and tomatillos. Someone hailed my call and I bought the ENTIRE stock (seriously (there were only 2)) and I have been putting them into everything, including but not limited to pasta sauce, mayonnaise and beans. If you missed out on our mac n cheese or pulled pork events (with chipotle cheese and chipotle porter bbq respectively), you’ve got just a few more chances before our stocks run dry. So stay atento to the events page.

To make this meatball soup you will need the following:

  • Half a large onion, roughly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, minced
  • 1 large zucchini, cubed
  • 2 roasted ears of corn, kernels chopped off
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cups of chicken broth + 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 pound (or 1/4 kilo) of ground beef (or pork, chicken or turkey depending on personal preference)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs
  • cumin, oregano, salt, chile powder, cinnamon
  • 3 chipotle peppers, chopped into a paste

In a stock pot heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeño until onion becomes translucent. Add garlic until fragrant, and finally zucchini until softened (about 3 minutes). Add broth and water, tomato, corn and about 1 teaspoon of each spice. Bring to boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile in a separate bowl combine beef, egg, bread crumbs, chipotle and 2 teaspoons of each spice. If you do not have chipotle I would recommend roasting two red jalapeño peppers until blackened, and finely chopping. Mix well, it is ok if the mixture is a wet. Form into approximately 20 balls, they should be roughly an inch to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Once soup has simmered for 15 minutes, drop in the meatballs and let cook for 5 minutes before turning off heat.

This soup is absolutely delicious. Thanks to the fresh jalapeños and chile powder the stock has a light spice; it’s enough to make your tongue tingle but not at all overbearing. I choose to not remove the seeds from neither the jalapeños nor the chipotle peppers which gives everything an extra kick. The meatballs take on a succulent texture from being cooked in the broth, with a wonderful depth because of the roasted chipotle flavor. I recommend cooking this during the afternoon and let the flavors meld together throughout the day. It makes for the perfect lazy dinner, and leftover lunch.

What’s your favorite chipotle recipe?

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