I don't want to see Summer come to an end, but there are telltale signs that it's doing just that. We've been having temperatures in the high 80's and low 90's here in Havre, Montana, but on Tuesday it was cloudy and chilly with a high temp of only 63. Add to that, the honkers have been flying overhead and there are a few fallen leaves on the ground; a sure sign that Autumn is near.
I'm one of those people who can't really enjoy a nice hot bowl of soup unless the weather is cooperating... that is, cold or rainy days when a simmering pot of soup on the stove helps to warm the kitchen and then our bellies.
So, on Tuesday when the temperature dipped, I was all over having soup for dinner. With plenty of zucchini on the counter and a few ripe tomatoes from our garden, I decided to make Albondigas.
Albondigas (al-BON-dee-gahs) means meatball in Spanish. So, what we have here basically, is Spanish meatball soup.
This was made with homemade chicken stock, zucchini, tomatoes and tiny meatballs which I made with ground beef. Cilantro, cumin and a dash of lemon juice round out the flavors in this soup. I cooked some tortillas and this was a perfect meal for a chilly day.
1# lean ground beef
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups boiling water
1 cube Knorr Caldo de Tomate (tomato bouillon with chicken flavor
½ medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced into rounds
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp oregano
1 large zucchini, sliced
½ cup cooked rice
1 T lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped cilantro to taste
Combine all ingredients for the meatballs and roll into small balls. You should get 24-28 meatballs from a pound of ground beef.
Brown meatballs in a frying pan with some olive oil. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
In a soup pan, add some olive oil and sauté celery, onions and carrot for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, water, tomato bouillon, cumin and oregano.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add meatballs and zucchini. Simmer gently until meatballs and zucchini are cooked, 10-15 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Ladle Albondigas into soup bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and cooked rice.