Saturday, October 8, 2011

Poblano Pesto and Albondigas Sopa

A gray, snowy Saturday inspired me to make a nice hot spicy meal.
 Today is a perfect day for staying in, turning up the heat and making some really good soup and a spicy spread.  So that is what I did.

Kathi and I went to the Farmer's Market in Morrill, NE last Tuesday to celebrate the completion of another season of chicken processing.  We bought some Poblano Chilies and picked up a recipe for Pesto.  Kathi had made a huge batch the week before and we had eaten over a pint of it in the few days I was there!  So this morning I got up and whipped up a batch before Bob even got up for breakfast!  I even roasted the peppers on the grill outside as it was snowing!

I mentioned the Albondigas Soup in a previous post and had some requests for it so I am including it in this post to carry out the Mexican theme..  I have a lot of good memories of this soup from my teaching days in West Wendover.  My students liked to make this in class and Griselda, the lunch room cook, would make it sometimes and put it on the salad bar in fall..  It is very delicious.  I never did get a recipe for it because the students would use their mother's or grandmother's recipe and I just never asked Griselda for hers. So I went to and discovered every family has a different version of this soup!   I kind of knew this because of the rice.  Some families use it in the meatballs and some serve it with the soup and others don't use it at all.  I even saw one recipe on food network for meatballs which used masa in them for filler!  Here's the recipe which I found that seems the closest to what I like.  By the way, Albondigas Sopa means meatball soup.

I just spread my poblano pesto on crackers for a little snack!  Mmmmmm!

 2 poblano peppers
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, rough chop
2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. chili powder*
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
Kosher Salt
* I used 1/2 Tbsp ground New Mexico red chili and 1/2 Tbsp cumin because I love these seasonings! 

     Char the peppers on top of a gas burner, on a grill, or under the broiler until all sides are blackened.  Place in a plastic bag for about 15 minutes allowing the steam to help loosen the skins. With your fingers (use plastic gloves) or a spoon scrape and discard the blackened skin  then remove the seeds and core.  Retain some seeds if you desire a spicier pesto.  Coarsely chop the poblanos and place in a mini food processor.  Add Parmesan, cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin if used and oil.  Process until well combined, but not totally smooth.  

Makes about 2 cups
The Food Network        Melissa D'Arabian

Kathi used 8 poblanos and a couple Anaheims and maybe even a jalapeno and 4 times the recipe.  She also used cumin in her pesto.  She had 1 qt. plus a pint jar of delicious pesto!  Neither one of us used a mini food processor since I doubled my recipe and it fit into my regular size food processor.  This could be used in a lot of different ways including spreading on sandwiches, spreading  on tortillas, rolling them up and slicing the rolls into pinwheels.  I'm sure you can think of a lot of other ways to use this tasty treat!
The soup simmers on the stove.  It is so colorful and tasty!


Open A Bar 2 ground beef is the star in this soup.  Notice the Ritz crackers instead of bread crumbs.  I love them in my meatballs.
 2 lbs. ground beef
1 egg
1/4 Cup bread crumbs.  I used cracker crumbs.
1/2 Cup uncooked white rice
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt**

**I didn't use since I used the salty bullion in the soup

Farmer's market produce and homemade tomato sauce make the soup taste so fresh.
 10 Cups chicken broth.  I used beef bullion cubes(10) and 10 C.  water.
4 carrots sliced
1/2 onion chopped
*4 stalks celery sliced  I didn't have any but used about 2 cups of zucchini cut in big chunks instead
1 ( 10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chili peppers ( such as Rotel)
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (7 oz.) can green chilies, drained (oops, I didn't drain but it didn't hurt the soup)
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic pwder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
*3 potatoes peeled and cut in large chunks

*  These were not in this particular recipe but potatoes were in almost all the recipes I saw and at least in Wendover I always had zucchini in big chunks in the ones there.

1. combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, rice, cumin, garlic powder, and salt ( which I didn't use due to the saltiness of the beef boullion) in a large bowl.  Mix well.
2.  Bring broth to a boil over medium heat.
3.  Form beef mixture into 1 inch meatballs, using about 1 1/2 Tbsp. meat for each.
I only used 1 lb. of ground beef and adjusted the rest of the ingredients for the meatballs.  I got 15 meatballs.  I did make a full recipe of the rest of the soup.
  I think you can get about 30 meatballs.  This should equal 3 for each of the 10 people eating the soup.  Turn the heat down under the broth to a simmer and drop the meatballs into the broth.  Simmer the meatballs in the broth for about 20 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.
At this altitude I think It could have been 30 minutes but then it cooks for another hour so maybe not!

While the meatballs are cooking you can chop up the vegetables.
And the cilantro.
 4.  Stir in the carrots, onion, celery (zucchini, potatoes),  Rotel, tomato sauce, canned chilies, cilantro, and seasonings. Simmer the soup for 1 hour to cook the vegetables and blend the flavors.

Notes:  If you don't like  cilantro leave it out but I love it with the cilantro in  it!  The reason I used beef broth instead of chicken is because it just makes sense to me that you would use beef broth with beef meat.  Today I had some left over polenta in the refrigerator so I heated  up a few slices, cut them in big chunks and put them in my soup for dinner.  It was yummy!
Makes 10 servings so use a big pot! 

Here's my nice hot, spicy lunch of Albondigas Sopa with crackers and Poblano Pesto.


1 comment:

  1. Looks delish.

    We'd love you to share your recipes with us at
    Simply Delish Saturday