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El Chico MeatBall Soup



MEATBALL SOUP
El Chico Restaurant Copycat Recipe

Meatballs:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup long grain rice
2 slices white bread
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper

Soup:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 ounces onion, chopped
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
3 quarts water or salt free broth
3 tomatoes, diced
1 cup rice
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 carrots, sliced 1/8 inch
1 zucchini, sliced 1/8 inch

Garnish:
fresh limes
cilantro
hot corn tortillas

To make the meat balls: Soak the bread in the milk. Place all the ingredients for the meat balls in a deep pan; include the milk and bread. Mix all the ingredients by hand very well. Make small meat balls rotating your hands in a circular motion making meat balls of the size 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches. Bake meat balls for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Set aside.

Soup preparation: Place vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions and bell pepper. Cook until onions are soft. Add the water, diced tomatoes, rice and spices. Bring to hard boil. Carefully add the meat balls, carrots and zucchini to the boiling soup. Lower the heat to a slow boil and cook until rice is soft, about 35 to 45 minutes. Add more water if necessary.

Serve with hot corn tortillas, lime wedges and chopped cilantro. Squeeze the lime in the soup to accentuate the flavor of the vegetables in the soup. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

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