Since it's Super Bowl Sunday this weekend and it is reaaaaally cold in many parts of the country (like Chicago), I'm sharing a family favorite recipe -- Mexican Meatball Soup. Something about Super Bowl Sunday makes me crave Mexican food -- maybe it's the traditional chips and guacamole usually on offer -- so this dish will pair nicely with salsa, chips, guac, even cornbread. Click here for a simple cornbread recipe I featured around Thanksgiving.
I love this recipe because it is easy to make, economical, tasty and healthy. Kids and adults love it and it is also a great recipe to make and carry along in a slow cooker if you are attending a party. (For tips on attending a party with nut allergies, click this link.) If your kids are reluctant to eat vegetables, this might get them to eat some because most kids love meatballs. Or fool them by chopping the veggies really small, so that they are less likely to notice them.
Once you've assembled the soup and cooked the meatballs in the simmering broth for 20 minutes, this soup only improves the longer it sits in the slow cooker. And of course, like all soups, this is even better the next day. You can easily double this recipe for a crowd.
Before I list my recipes, one note: This site mainly offers peanut-free and tree nut-free recipes. I'm not an expert in substitutions for other allergies (though many of my recipes will take to substitutions) and there is no way I can anticipate every food allergy with my recipes. So please, if you can't eat one or more of the foods that appear in the recipes in this post, feel free to substitute as you see fit, if you can. I know a lot of us need nut-free recipes and that's what I know best, so thanks for understanding!
Mexican Meatball Soup
1 lb lean ground beef (I use ground round)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 grated yellow onion (use a hand grater right over the mixing bowl)
3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
4 tablespoons (or to taste) fresh cilantro (skip cilantro if you/your kids don't like it--but if you like it, don't skip it! It is really good.)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
7-8 cups chicken or beef stock or broth, or a combo of both (I use Swanson's low-sodium or organic broth)
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, with their juice
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
In a large mixing bowl mix beef, eggs, onion, tortilla chips, cilantro, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Cover this mixture tightly and chill in the refrigerator for one hour to make it easy to scoop and to blend flavors
Place your stock in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, if using, carrots, celery, onion and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a roiling boil, then turn down heat; simmer.
Form the beef mixture into 1 to 1-1/2 inch balls (use a small ice cream scoop for this, if you have one.) Place them in the simmering stock, carefully. Cover the dish and simmer gently about 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked all the way through.
At this point you can place the soup in a slow cooker on low.
When ready to serve, top with fresh cilantro. You can also add shredded cheese if you like, avocado, or whatever garnish looks good!
Makes about 8 servings.
Game Day Recipes from SunButter
If you can have/like SunButter, each year SunButter break out some tasty and inventive recipes for Super Bowl Sunday (or any game day). This may be your chance to convert friends and family to a peanut butter substitute.
Click this link to find nut-free snacks, apps, sweets and more.