Shockingly, we’re well into fall and merely a few weeks from Christmas with hardly any soup transactions to tout in our kitchen this season. That, combined with one of those rocky weeks of doubt, low self-esteem, and dramatic interpretations of life choices mingled with red wine and re-runs of Doctor Who while your other half appeases your request for repeated hugs, screamed for soup.
That’s the type of soup weather that hit our kitchen this week. No dreary cold or drizzly rain. No runny noses or rampant sickness. Just the need for a warm soup belly, and a refrigerator full of ingredients to make it happen.
Whatever kind of week you’re having… whether it’s the highest of the high or the lowest of the low… Let this soup be a part of your life. Immediately. And also let it clear any cold or sinus issues you’re having, because jalapenos.
I had a week of kitchen failures. Just one disappointment or mistake after another, making me want to throw up the white flag and pour the red wine. But like my tech-y husband (or the hilarious IT Crowd on Netflix) says when something’s wrong with any electronic device, “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?”
So that’s what I did. I tried to shut down for a day or two and stop trying so hard. I pinned with no intention of recreating. I watched cooking shows with a pleasant, uncritical eye. I read magazines for enjoyment, not in search of the next idea.
That’s how this Mexican Chorizo Meatball Soup came to be. Feeling refreshed but still in need of a piping hot bowl of warm goodness, I spent a happy evening in the kitchen sans camera or agenda, just making a pot of delicious and unique soup. It cured all that ailed me.
We absolutely adore chorizo, so the meatballs in this soup are a succulent mixture of half ground beef, half smoky, spicy chorizo sausage. The base is a typical concoction of garlic, onion, and tomatoes, with the added element of spicy jalapenos. All of that simmers together, with a bit of lime juice, corn, cumin, and generous salt and pepper. The meatballs plop in with a bit of rice and slowly cook until tenderly finished. We topped our heaping bowls with avocado, cilantro, and an extra wedge of lime juice, because green toppings are just gawgeous.
I love all of the elements this soup offers. I wanted a tomato-y and brothy soup, but also craved a spicy kick to warm my insides. With that spicy, brothy, tomato-y base, I wanted some form of heartiness to sustain me through the frigid 60 degree temperatures in greater Austin, and I wanted it to pack a punch of flavor and texture. If I could top it with an avocado, it’d be the greatest winning soup of all time.
And IT WAS.
I had the means to make a homemade chicken stock on hand, so I used that as my base for the soup. With half a rotisserie chicken in the fridge, carrots, onions, garlic, and a heap of jalapenos, I let them simmer into a savory and spicy concoction. I’ve included the recipe below, but it’s not a required element at all – simply use canned stock or bouillon to meet your needs, but a homemade stock is quiiiiite satisfying, if you have the time and inclination.
So enjoy, friends. Whether you’re battling a cold, braving frigid temperatures, having a crummy week, or just have all of these ingredients lurking in your refrigerator, enjoy this yummy soup that will make your world a spicy, hearty, better place for a while.