Is it summer yet? No, seriously, you guys. It needs to be summer.
Everyone in my house is sick with the flu. It’s like as soon as we stepped off the plane on Saturday night our bodies threw in the towel and said I’m DONE! As my husband moped around the house all day Sunday as if he were dying, I was in total and complete denial.
After all, every wife and mother out there knows that we don’t really get sick and if we do it’s never as bad as blank or blank feels.
lies lies lies.
But I’m not here today to discuss the man flu and the fact that my grown husband is a bigger baby than my actual baby.
No. Today I’m here to complain about the lack of sunshine in northern California and the need for summer to come sooner rather than later. Of course, in a few months I’ll complain that Sacramento is on fire and that we need some rain, but let’s worry about that later. Yes, I’m annoying like that. At least for now because, well, the sickness…
Since I can’t control the weather, I did the one and only thing I could do…
I made a huge pot of soup- Albondigas soup. My favorite housekeeper (who was like a second mom to me) would make Albondigas Soup at least once a month for my family throughout my childhood. I never really cared for it when I was young (too many vegetables), but now, it’s one of my favorite soups and frequently requested by my husband.
Sadly, I never got my housekeepers recipe and have since lost contact with her, so this is entirely my version. I choose to make my meatballs with lean ground turkey, but traditional Albondigas would likely be made with ground beef or chorizo (or a mix of both). Mixed with rice and LOTS of fresh herbs, these meatballs are filled with so much delicious, fresh flavor.
Have you had Albondigas Soup? How do you like to prepare your meatballs?
Prep Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
salt, to taste
6 large carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts chicken stock + 1 quart water
1 cup tomato sauce
10 ounces sugar snap peas
3 zucchini, quartered and chopped
For the Meatballs:
1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
2 eggs, beaten
1 pound ground turkey OR ground beef OR ground chorizo (or a mix)- I used ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for topping
Shredded cheese, for topping
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until just starting to soften, approximately 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and mix in the carrots, celery and garlic, cooking for an additional 4-5 minutes. Stir frequently. Increase heat to high and add chicken stock, water and tomato sauce. Bring soup to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low.
Meanwhile, as the soup is simmering, prepare the meatballs. In a large mixing bowl mix together the chopped parsley, mint, cilantro, garlic, brown rice, bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and (optional) cayenne pepper. Mix in the raw egg and, using your hands, mix the meat in with herb and rice mixture. Form meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
Increase heat to medium and carefully add meatballs to the simmering soup, one at a time. Cover and allow meatballs to cook for approximately 30 minutes. Add sugar snap peas and chopped zucchini to the pot and allow soup to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until meatballs are fully cooked and vegetables are tender.
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and shredded cheese.