Soup season is my FAVORITE. And while fall and winter soups are usually a "cream of this" and "bisque of that", I really like this alternative broth-based soup. The clear broth and chopped veggies make the soup light while the meatballs with the heat of jalapeños make it hearty and warming. It's a great combo of veggies and protein which many soups just don't have. I love this soup. This is loosely based on a Food & Wine Magazine recipe (I made some changes).
Makes 4-6 servings.
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 chopped jalapeño peppers (without seeds and ribs unless you like it SPICY)
3 medium diced zucchini
2-3 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tsp coarse salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 lb lean ground grass-fed beef or buffalo (or turkey or any lean, organic ground meat, really)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 1/2 tbsp dry whole wheat bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
In a pot, heat the oil over low-medium heat. Add onion and one of the chopped jalapeños and cook about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, half of the oregano and half of the cumin. Cook, stirring, about 3 more minutes.
Add the broth, water, tomatoes, half the salt and a little pepper. Bring to a boil and lower to simmer for 15 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, mix the meat, garlic, the other jalapeño, the rest of the cumin and oregano, salt, pepper, bread crumbs and the egg. Make small meatballs (about 1 inch in diameter).
Once the soup base has simmered for 15 minutes, add the meatballs and simmer for 5 more minutes.
And that is it! Some recipes call for other veggies. You can add corn, green peppers, carrots, string beans. Get creative!