Sunday, October 25, 2015

Warming Trends for #SundaySupper...Featuring Spicy Meatball Tortilla Soup

The timing could be more perfect for this week's Warming Trends #SundaySupper, which features food and drinks to keep you warm when the weather outside is cool! Our host this week is my friend T.R. from Gluten Free Crumbley. I'm happy to report that Fall is finally in the air here in Texas! We're expecting north winds and afternoon highs in the low 70s this week, along with cool evenings. When the first true cool snap of the Fall arrives, my mind turns to one thing: making a big pot of soup! During the cooler months, I make a pot of soup for dinner at least once per week. I love how soup warms you from the inside -- and leftovers taste even better the next day. For this week's #SundaySupper, I'm sharing a hearty soup that will satisfy even the biggest appetites: Spicy Meatball Tortilla Soup. 

I normally put shredded roasted chicken in my tortilla soup, but I was inspired to try savory mini meatballs based on a recipe I saw at the Cooking Light website. My version features bite-sized pork meatballs and healthy veggies in a spicy tomato-based broth. Just before serving, each bowl is topped with crispy tortilla strips, diced avocado, sour cream, and a bit of colby-jack cheese. Feel free to adjust the spice level depending on how much heat your palate can handle. For reference, my version features a moderate level of spice

Spicy Meatball Tortilla Soup
inspired by Cooking Light
Ingredients (makes 8-10 servings):
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 seeded, chopped Hatch chile OR seeded, minced jalapeno 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 8 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (juice and all)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 tbs. chili powder
  • 2 tbs. cornmeal
For the meatballs:
  • 3/4 lb. lean ground pork (can use ground turkey or lean ground beef 
  • 1/3 cup panko or other bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1 tsp. chili powder + 1 tsp. cumin
  • Salt & pepper to taste
For topping:
  • Packaged corn tortilla chips (or coarsely crushed tortilla chips)
  • Light sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • Colby-jack cheese
  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges
Step 1: Add the ground pork, panko, egg, cilantro, onion, garlic, chile powder, cumin, and salt & pepper to a mixing bowl. Combine the ingredients with pristinely clean hands just until everything is combined. Form into small, bite-sized meatballs. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat for 5 minutes. Cook the meatballs in batches until they are browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Step 2: If necessary, add a bit more olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, and chile. Sprinkle with the chili powder and cook until the onion is translucent -- about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, along with the broth and corn kernels. Stir to combine and lower heat to med-low. Add the reserved meatballs.
Step 3: Reduce heat to med-low, cover the Dutch oven, and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off heat, uncover, and add the cornmeal. Stir well to incorporate it into the soup, and let the soup rest for 5 minutes -- until it's slightly thickened. Ladle the finished soup into deep serving bowls. Top with tortilla strips, sour cream, diced avocado, and shredded cheese. If desired, add lime juice and cilantro.
This filling tortilla soup is a complete meal in a bowl! The broth is slightly spicy with a smoky background flavor from the chili powder, and the pork meatballs are tender and flavorful. The crunchy tortilla strips and creamy avocado provide a nice textural contrast to every bite. This soup is a winner...and you can bet I'll be adding these meatballs to my tortilla soup again in the future. I hope that you'll give this comforting tortilla soup a try the next time you're looking to warm the tummies and hearts of those you love. I also hope you'll check out all of the great recipes that this week's #SundaySupper participants are sharing -- there's something for everyone!

Main Dishes and Soups
Sunday Supper MovementBe sure to join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter today! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET/6 pm Central. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest boardWould you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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