Albóndigas Soup with Hatch Chiles

Mexican-style Meatball Soup
Pasilla & Cumin Scented Beef Broth with Rice & Zucchini
Roasted Chiles from Hatch, New Mexico
Garnished with Fried White Corn Tortilla Strips
Lime and Cilantro

Last summer I wrote about Hatch chiles. The famous chile from the "Chile Capital of the World" in Hatch, New Mexico. I addition to lots of fresh chiles, I also bought some pre-roasted chiles to keep on hand in my freezer. They were perfect for this albóndigas recipe.

Albóndigas Soup with Hatch Chiles
Onion and garlic are sautéed in olive oil, then pasilla chile powder and ground cumin are added.

Pasilla chile powder is a flavorful, medium-heat chile powder with overtones of berries, grapes, herbs and licorice, traditionally used in Mexican dishes, it adds a terrific depth of flavor to this soup.

Defrost the roasted Hatch chiles, then peel and remove seeds and stems.

Dice chiles.

Lean ground beef is mixed with grated zucchini, diced Hatch chiles, onion, garlic, cumin, dried Mexican oregano, panko breadcrumbs, egg whites, and Kosher salt. Form into meatballs.

Beef broth (homemade, or I like Wolfgang Puck's brand) is added to the sauteéd onion and garlic mixture and brought to a boil. Add dried Mexican oregano and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add grated zucchini, long-grain white rice, and the meatballs. Cook gently until the rice and meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Add salt if needed.

Meanwhile, slice white corn tortillas into strips and fry in canola oil. Drain on paper towels, season with sea salt.

Ladle soup into bowls, top with a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice, tortilla strips and cilantro.

I just found this super albondigas recipe in Bon Appétit January 2010 issue highlighting meatballs. The exact recipe can also be found online at bonappetit.com here.