As we embark on a brand new year, I’m partly devastated that I haven’t been able to keep up with my posting delight. We rang in 2018 with a bang and the bang has continued to beat to a rhythm I haven’t been able to keep up with! With trips, school, and guests, this year – the mere two weeks of it – has been AWESOME! So, it wasn’t surprising to me that the first Sunday I had to literally lounge around in my PJs was the perfect day to make this easy & delicious traditional meatball soup…my body craved comfort food!
Sopa de albóndiga – literally meatball soup – is a traditional family favorite in Honduras, as well as many other parts of the world, all around! Bulgarians, Germans, Indonesians, Filipinos, and Hondurans…we all enjoy a local variety of this comforting soup. This classic consists mainly of a clear broth, with meatballs and sometimes added vegetables. So simple, and yet so unique, this yummy soup is perfect for these cold, wet Winter days!
For the Meatball Soup
- 1 pound (450g) of ground beef
- 1/2 pound of corn flour (masa) + 2 tablespoons for the broth
- 3 leaves of hierba buena (spearmint)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 tomato, chopped
- 3 packages of beef consommé
- 1 cilantro bunch, chopped
- Salt, pepper, & cumin, to taste
Begin by seasoning the ground beef with one package of consommé – or approximately 1 tablespoon of beef bouillon – cumin to taste, & the cilantro bunch.
Prepare the masa by adding water to the corn flour, slowly adding until the masa is manageable. It doesn’t have to be too soft or too mushy. Add to the ground beef and mix well. Set the additional 2 tablespoons of masa aside, to add to the broth later. Add one leaf of the hierba buena (spearmint) to the meat mixture, and mix until well combined. Make the meatballs as big or small as you’d like. I’ve seen tiny meatballs, which are great with kids, and large meatballs which make the soup loaded enough with just one!
In a large pot, sauté the onion, red bell pepper, & tomato until aromatic. Add about 2 Liters of water. Mix in the additional 2 packages of beef consommé, or beef bouillon, and the remaining 2 leaves of hierba buena (spearmint) – finely minced. Stir well.
Just before it breaks a boil, add the reserved 2 tablespoons of masa with a strainer and blend in. Stir well & add the meatballs. Be sure not to let the meatballs break or crumble. Lay them into the hot broth with much love and limit the stirring, making sure not to touch the meatballs too much. Let the soup boil on low heat until the meatballs turn white-ish, a sign the meat has cooked. It takes about 10 minutes for them to be well done. Serve over a bed of rice and enjoy!