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Meatball Soup (Sopa De Albondigas)

This spicy Mexican soup is traditionally served with hot tortillas. A clear consomme base may be substituted for the tomato one used here and 1/2 teaspoon of hot chilli powder may be substituted for the chilli pepper.

ingredients

serves 6
25 g (1 oz) 2 Tbs Butter
1 Onion, chopped
2 Small dried hot red chillis, crumbled
1/2 tsp Dried oregano
1 kg (2 lb) Tomatoes, blanched, peeled and pureed
1 1.4 litres (2 pints) 5 cups Water
1 1/2 tsp Salt

for the meatballs

350 g (12 oz) Minced (ground) beef
4 Tbs Cooked rice
1 Small onion, grated
1 Small egg
1/4 tsp Ground cumin
1 tsp Finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

method

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry until it is soft.

2. Stir in the chillis and oregano and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes and water and add the salt. Bring to the boil and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until the liquid has reduced by about half.

3. Meanwhile, combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, roll the mixture into small, walnut-sized balls. Add the balls to the soup.

4. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer the soup for 40 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.

5. Transfer the mixture to a warmed tureen and serve at once.

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