Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Poblano Meatball Soup

I was once again snowed in this week. Still sick. Still cold. Still cleaning instead of catching up on homework. What's perfect for a situation like that? Soup, of course! And this soup was great! The meatballs really added a depth of smokey, delicious flavor!

Wedding planning has sort of come to a stand still. I'm in the process of brainstorming theme ideas. I picked out bridesmaid dresses. One of my sisters gave me her approval and the color is just great... it's Pewter... not Pewtrid. For some reason, when I was explaining these bridesmaid dress colors at work, I said Pewtrid, instead of Pewter... and they all got a quick laugh out of that. Of course, I didn't get it at first, and then realized I didn't memorize my Crayola colors before I came in and Pewtrid definitely was NOT the color I wanted.

Anywho... onto the soup...

Adapted from Bon Appetit's Jan 2010 issue - "Poblano Albondigas w/ Ancho Chile Soup"

2 large poblano chiles
1 lb. ground beef
2 zucchini, 1 grated and 1 roughly chopped
1 onion, 1/2 grated and 1/2 diced
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
4 garlic cloves, 2 pressed and 2 minced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons chili powder
5 cups beef broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice from 1 lime
4 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips

To make the meatballs, line a baking sheet with some wax or parchment paper. Take the poblanos and put them under the broiler in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or as long as they have some good charring on all sides. Place the pepper in a paper bag and let steam for about 10 minutes. This allows the skin to separate from the flesh of the pepper, and makes it easier to peel. Stem, seed, and peel the poblanos once cooled. Chop them up real good and place in a large bowl.

Add in beef, grated zucchini, grated onion, panko breadcrumbs, egg, pressed garlic, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano, and a big pinch of salt. Form into 1-inch diameter meatballs and place on baking sheet.

In a dutch oven, heat oil under medium heat. Add diced onion and minced garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add chili powder and remaining cumin and stir for about 1 minute. Add the beef broth, water, and remaining oregano. Bring to a rolling boil and them reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook for about 10 minutes.

Mix in the chopped zucchini and rice. Increase the heat to medium high and drop the meatballs in one at a time. Then lower heat to a simmer again and cook for about 20 minutes, covered, until meatballs are cooked through. Stir in cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

To make tortilla strip topping, heat a 1/2 inch layer of vegetable oil in a heavy pan. Fry the strips for about 1 minute, until starting to turn golden brown. Ladle soup into bowls and top with fried tortilla strips.

This was definitely a great way to warm up and truly it made me feel a little bit better considering my cold! Enjoy!

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