Nothing like a hot bowl of soup to nourish a person back to health. Normally, I would make my Caldo de Pollo for the soul, but what I really wanted was a bowl of Albondigas (Meatball Soup).
Whenever I make Albondigas, I am reminded of one of my biggest kitchen disasters. We've all had recipes that have gone terribly wrong.
My grandmother's Albondigas weren't the best. The meatballs were very plain, but I loved the cooked vegetables that she added to the Caldo (broth). My mother-in-law made her Albondigas for us during her first visit to the States. Her Albondigas were very tasty, as was the broth, but no veggies.
I had never prepared Albondigas, but was sure that it would be the perfect thing to serve for a dinner party I was having for our neighbors. How hard could it be? All I had to do was follow my mother-in-law's recipe and throw in a couple of veggies, like Gramm.
Putting the meatballs together was easy. And I was sure to add a dash of oregano for flavor. I figured that a dash was a quick shake of my spice shaker. But my oregano jar didn't have one of those lids with little holes like a salt shaker. I figured, "Oh well! A little extra oregano can't hurt."
We were still newlyweds, so I didn't have a lot of pots and pans, but I did have one very large stockpot. I filled my stockpot with water, just like the recipe stated, and added the meatballs. I was happy because I was going to have plenty of soup!
I had timed it so that the Albondigas would be ready by the time Hubby got home from work. I wanted him to taste my masterpiece before serving it to our neighbors. I served him a little in a small bowl and was smiling from ear-to-ear because I was just so darn proud of myself.
From the face that Hubby was making, you would have thought that my Hubby had just drank a cup of pure lemon juice. But after tasting it for myself, I understood why.
Note to self: 10 quarts of water is way too much for just a pound of meat! And a tablespoon of dried oregano was way too much. You couldn't taste anything else. Just oregano. And the broth tasted like oregano water.
Hubby tried to save my soup by adding more and more salt and chicken bouillon, but it wasn't helping. It really was a lot of water. I was devastated and crying because our neighbors were due to arrive at any minute. There was no way I could serve that horrible concoction.
Always the voice of reason, Hubby said we would order pizza as soon as our neighbors arrived. But thankfully that never happened, because they had forgotten about our dinner party and had gone to Disneyland.
As the old saying goes, practice really does make perfect, because now my Albondigas are always delicious.
(Mexican Meatball Soup)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/4 cup long-grain rice (uncooked)
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano (crushed)
- 4 medium potatoes (cut in large chunks)
- 4 carrots (peeled and sliced in large chunks)
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, ground pork, rice, bread crumbs, tomato, onion, egg and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
Using a 1/8-cup measuring cup, shape the meat mixture into meatballs. Place in a 4-quart stockpot with 8 cups of water. Add the vegetables and season soup with 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon. Cover stockpot and cook over medium heat until vegetable are tender. (About 40 to 45 minutes.)
Serve with plenty of warm corn tortillas and Chile de Molcajete. Enjoy!!!