Mexican Meatball Soup
- 2 zucchini, coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 2 1/2 cups beef stock
- 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) whole plum tomatoes,
coarsely chopped, with juices
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 1/2 tsp. minced fresh oregano
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- Salt, to taste, plus 1 1/2 tsp.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the zucchini, celery, stock, tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, all but 2 Tbs. of the onion, 1/2 tsp. of the oregano, the chili powder and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are soft and the flavors are blended, about 30 minutes. Season with salt.
Prepare the meatballs
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, the remaining 2 Tbs. onion, the remaining 4 tsp. oregano, the 1 1/2 tsp. salt and the pepper. Mix gently with your hands, then shape into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Set aside.
Finish the soup
When the soup base is ready, using a large spoon, gently slide the meatballs into the simmering stock. Cook until opaque throughout, 7 to 9 minutes. Ladle the soup into soup bowls and serve. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Soup, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2006).