Albondigas means “meatball” in the Spanish language and this soup is one of many South of the Border classics that makes a festive meal in a bowl. The meatballs can be made from any kind of ground protein – beef or pork are more traditional, but I like to keep it a little more healthy by using ground turkey.
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 C cooked rice (cooked only halfway through)
1T dried oregano
1T, chili powder
1T garlic salt
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped into circles
4 celery stalks, roughly diced
6 C chicken broth
2 cilantro stalks (not chopped)
1 C pasta shells, cooked separately
In a Dutch oven, parboil the rice by basically cooking it halfway before doneness. Remove and let cool.
Combine all elements for the balls in a bowl and roll into golf ball-sized shapes and set on a sheet of plastic wrap.
Drain the pot and add some olive oil and heat. Drop in the onions, carrots and celery and cook until softened, about 7 minutes.
Add the broth and cilantro stems. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes.
In a separate pot, make the pasta shells until perfectly done, then drain and set aside.
Drop the balls into the simmered broth, cover and simmer for a good 10 minutes. Check for doneness and if they taste right, you’re ready to go.
In a deep bowl, drop the cooked pasta into the bottom. Now pour over the brother and add a few balls and lots of veges per person. A cold margarita on the side wouldn’t hurt.