This recipe calls for meatballs, so I substituted two boxes of Morningstar Farms Veggie Meatballs to make it vegetarian. Man, was this soup GOOD! I (of course) didn’t make my own meatballs, so there is no rice in this soup, although you could add some in, if you want! My soup turned out to be really thick, with not a whole lot of broth, so if you like a more “soupy” soup, add more broth!
Meatball Soup (Sopa de Albóndigas)
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 whole cloves
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice – don’t need if you are using veggie meatballs
2 tablespoons grated fresh onion – don’t need if you are using veggie meatballs
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided – don’t need if you are using veggie meatballs
1 pound ground round – don’t need if you are using veggie meatballs
1 large egg white – don’t need if you are using veggie meatballs
1 garlic clove, minced – don’t need if you are using veggie meatballs
3 cups chopped green cabbage
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons drained chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce – I omitted
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth- I used vegetarian chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped (such as Muir Glen)- I used plain diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cubed peeled baking potato
Cook the coriander seeds and the cumin seeds in a large Dutch oven over medium heat 1 minute or until toasted and fragrant. Place the toasted spices, cloves, and cinnamon in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground.
Combine 2 teaspoons cinnamon mixture, rice, grated onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, beef, egg white, and garlic in a large bowl; set remaining cinnamon mixture aside. Shape beef mixture into 24 (1-inch) meatballs.
Heat pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add cabbage, chopped onion, carrot, and celery to pan; cook 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add remaining cinnamon mixture, chili powder, and chipotle; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add meatballs; cover and cook 15 minutes. Add potato; cook, uncovered, over medium heat 20 minutes or until potato is tender.
In Mexico, albóndigas (meatballs) are sometimes made with rice used as the binding agent. Other times, rice is in the soup.