Albóndigas de Frailes (Friars' Meatball Soup) #KitchenMatrixCookingProject
Today is our fourth May post for our Kitchen Matrix Project, named after Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix cookbook. You can read about the year-long project: here. This month, I chose the recipes and went with a Latin theme. So, we have worked with masa; we made salsa; we braised carnitas. And so on...you get the idea.
This week I chose Mexican soups, but wasn't really inspired by any of the recipes listed. Darn it. But I will try his tortilla soup and pork soup soon. Just wasn't feeling it this week. Sorry.
Albóndigas soup is a traditional Mexican soup featuring spicy meatballs offset by the fresh flavors of vegetables and herbs. This wasn't one of Bittman's recipes under 'Mexican Soups', but it's one of my family's favorites, so I'm sharing it anyway! And, yes, this has my California twist included with my butternut squash and kale!
2 C chopped celery
2 C chopped onion
2 C chopped carrots
1 C cubed butternut squash
1 T butter
2 T olive oil
1/2 chopped herbs (I used parsley, oregano, and mint)
4 C thinly sliced greens (I used kale)
8 C chicken stock
1/2 C onions, diced
1/2 C fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
1 T butter
1 t olive oil
1 C ground almonds
1 pound ground meat (I used a mixture of beef and pork)
1 T ground cumin
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 T fresh mint, chopped
In a large souppot, melt butter in olive oil. Add in the celery, onions, carrots, and herbs. Cook until the onions are softened and beginning to turn translucent. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.
In the meantime, make the meatballs. Melt butter in olive oil and cook the onions and fennel until softened and beginning to caramelize, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, work together the meat, ground almonds, egg, herbs, and spices. Form teaspoon-sized meatballs and drop them into the boiling broth. Simmer for another 30 minutes or so, till the meatballs are cooked through.