I learned to make this soup originally in High School Food and Nutrition class. The teacher was very big on low fat, low carb (it was the 90’s), so I’ve made a lot of changes from the original recipe to include more vegetables, aromatics, and herbs/spices.
Thankfully our Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box loads us up weekly on locally grown, farm fresh veggies. All the veggies I used in this recipe came from our CSA box!
- 1 lb ground beef (I use 80/20)
- 1/3 cup uncooked rice (don’t use instant rice. I used jasmine rice)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 c plain bread crumbs
- 1 T. Parsley
- 1 T. Olive oil
- 2 T. Minced garlic
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
- 1 potato, peeled and diced
- 2 15-ish oz. cans diced, peeled tomatoes
- 2 green zucchini or calabaza (Mexican Squash), cut into bite size pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 T. Penzeys Penzeys Salsa & Pico Seasoning
- 6 cups chicken or veggie stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef, rice, egg, breadcrumbs, and parsley. Form small meatballs, and set aside until all the meat is balled up.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat oil and fry meatballs, turning frequently so all sides are browned.
- Remove meatballs, and set aside. Keep the drippings in the Dutch oven.
- In the Dutch oven, over medium heat, sauté carrots, onions, celery, and potatoes for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
- Add in the garlic, continuing to cook over medium heat, until garlic is fragrant.
- After garlic is fragrant, turn heat down to low, add in remaining ingredients, including the meatballs that have been patiently waiting. Cover with a tight fitting lid, and allow to simmer for 15-30 minutes, giving time for the ingredients to mingle, and the meatballs will swell slightly, as the rice in them cooks.
This recipes serves 6-8. It freezes well and is so good topped with a little queso fresco, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime and a little hot sauce.
If you don’t eat beef, you can use any other ground meat. I’ve never used faux ground “beef”, so I can’t vouch for it.