Prep 55 mins
Cook 1 hr 40 mins
Taking its name from the word for the meatballs that float in its rich broth, this great one-dish meal is arguably the national soup of Mexico. Make a big pot for a casual party, keeping it warm on the stove top. Adding the cilantro pesto to each serving produces a wonderfully fresh taste.
- 3⁄4 cup short-grain white rice
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 white onions, diced
- 1⁄2 lb ground pork
- 1⁄2 lb ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
- 6 cups chicken broth
For the Cilantro Pesto
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 fresh mint sprig, stemmed and chopped
- 2 limes, juice of
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Place the rice in a heatproof bowl. Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the rice. Let soak for 40 minutes, then drain; set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Add 1 of the diced onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- In a bowl, combine the pork, beef, cooled onion, soaked rice, egg, cumin, oregano, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Using your hands, mix well and form into 1-inch balls.
- In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add the remaining diced onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, zucchini, carrots and tomatoes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, stir well and bring to a boil. Carefully slip the meatballs into the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until the meatballs are fully cooked, about 45 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- While the soup simmers, make the cilantro pesto: In a mini food processor or a blender, combine the cilantro, mint, lime juice, olive oil, water and salt. Process to a paste.
- Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls and top each serving with a dollop of cilantro pesto. Serve at once.