When I was a kid this was my favorite soup that my mom made. No one else in my family loved it as much as we did. And she’d always make fresh tortilla’s to go along with it. Albóndigas is Spanish for “meatballs,” and sopa de albóndigas is Mexican meatballs in a bowlful of hot broth. It’s great comfort food and a great way to warm up a cold day.

Sopa de Albondiagas

1 tablespoon long-grain rice
½ pound ground pork
½ pound ground beef
1 egg
1/8-teaspoon ground cumin
3 leaves fresh mint
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped white onion
Salt & pepper to taste

The broth
½ pound tomatoes, chopped
½ white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-tablespoon lard
7 cups chicken stock
Salt to taste
3 medium carrots, sliced
3 medium zucchini, sliced
1 dried chipolte chili
3 large sprigs mint
4 large sprigs cilantro

Cover the rice with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes. Mix the meats together in a large bowl. Put the remaining meatball ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.Add this to the meat with the rice and combine until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside while you prepare the broth.

Put the tomatoes, onions and garlic into the blender and blend until smooth. Heat the lard in the soup pan, add the blended ingredients and cook over medium heat until reduced and seasoned – about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and salt to taste; bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and zucchini and cook over low heat.

Make 24 small balls and add to the broth with the chili and herb.

Continue to cook over low heat until the meatballs are cooked through and the vegetables are tender – about 45 minutes.

Skim the top of the soup and serve.

Serves 6