|Albondigas - Mexican Meat Ball Soup|
Put tomatoes and water to boil. Saute garlic, one onion and one chopped, seeded chile in oil. Add chili powder and one half cup of soup water to vegetables. Stir until smooth and add to soup. Season with one quarter teaspoon oregano, salt Cayenne. Continue simmering. To make meat balls combine meat, other onion, other chile pepper, seeded and chopped, one quarter tsp oregano, salt, corn meal, and eggs. Mix by hand for at least 10 minutes until everything is incorporated. Gently pat out the albondigas the size of walnuts (and fill with desired fillings) and drop into soup. Cook for another hour.
Rally eight people of good taste around and serve soup in large bowls with toasted French bread and fresh salsa."
When I make this, I have used masa meal for the corn meal, and put pieces of bell pepper in the meat balls as well as other things. I guess you'd know what the restaurant uses, and if they use pasta or other vegetables in the soup, and more or less chile. With some pasta added, it does make a good meal. Fortunately, my husband doesn't have to try and smuggle out the meat balls. He thinks the soup makes a great lunch the next day, as long as I make plenty of meat balls.
Can't help with the El Torito version (is this another American chain?) but I do use a recipe from an old book on The Food and Drink of Mexico by George C. Booth, who must have travelled around in the 50'-60's before Mexican food got really trendy e.g. when the most Mexican food I'd ever seen on the east coast of the US was Fritos.....His writing is worth reading just for itself and his descriptions of where or when he got a recipe or how it originated are as interesting as the recipes. You can tell this was written quite awhile ago if he expects his guests to be wearing dinner jackets! I've abridged this one.
Albondigas - Meat Ball Soup
Albondigas .... has everything you're looking for as well as unexpected and tantalizing side effects. . An olla of albondigas with very little help from the sideboard will make a meal that is at once complete, exotic and satisfying. Whenever you serve this dish make plenty of meat balls because they are so good your guests will smuggle out half a dozen in their dinner jackets just to nibble on the way home.
Mexican housewives take unlimited liberties with this amiable soup: some hide a stuffed green olive in each meat ball, and others core the albondiga with a wedge of boiled egg or chopped nuts. In cooler weather I like to hearten the soup with a cup of dry macaroni.
From: Louette McInnes, email@example.com
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