Colombia is a country known for its soups. Indeed, we have soups for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They can be prepared on any day of the week or made special for the weekend. Soups are always a great choice at any time, as they are light, nutritious, and if meat, like meatballs in this case, is added, it provides even more protein.
The meatball soup we're about to make is appealing, comforting, delicious, and low in calories. Nothing beats a hot bowl of soup to balance our body or that of our little ones.
The foundation of this soup is either a vegetable or meat broth, and it can be complemented with potatoes, pasta, rice, etc. It's a dish best served hot, making it perfect for colder days, for when you have a cold, and it's also very nutritious and aromatic due to its blend of ingredients.
There are many ways to make this soup, and the one you'll see next is one of the simplest traditional recipes I've found. My family, especially my sister, loves it. There's no secret to it; it's a straightforward process with natural ingredients, resulting in an extraordinary meatball soup. I'm sure anyone who tries it will love it.
Meatball soup is very versatile. As mentioned before, you can add rice, vegetables, pasta—essentially, the sky's the limit. So, let's get cooking.
How to achieve soft meatballs in the soup?
The softness of the meatballs is vital for this recipe's success. To get tender meatballs, ensure you don't press the meat too compactly when forming them. When mixing the ground meat with the bread crumbs and whisked eggs, maintain a light touch. The breadcrumbs help soften the meatball's texture, so it's essential not to skip this ingredient.
Can I add other ingredients to my soup?
Absolutely! Meatball soup is adaptable. While the provided recipe focuses on specific ingredients, feel free to add others to tailor it to your preferences. As hinted in the notes, consider adding carrots for extra flavor and color. Other potential additions include corn, peas, and even some rice.
What's the correct temperature for this recipe?
Maintaining the right temperature is key to getting a delicious, well-cooked meatball soup. Start on medium-high heat to bring the beef broth or water to a boil. After adding potatoes and pasta, reduce the heat to medium to let the ingredients cook without burning. When you add onions and cilantro, keep it on low to prevent overcooking and to retain their freshness.
What's the most common mistake people make when preparing this soup?
A frequent mistake is not allowing ingredients enough time to cook at their pace. For instance, if you put the meatballs in with the potatoes, they might overcook, resulting in a tougher texture. Adding onions and cilantro too early might make them lose their vibrant taste and color.
What other similar recipes can I try?
If you enjoy meatball soup, you might like other hearty soups like Colombian lentil soup or ajiaco soup. Both use similar ingredients and offer a fresh way to savor Colombian cuisine. Lentil soup is a comforting dish featuring veggies and meat, while ajiaco is a flavorful chicken soup with potatoes, corn cobs, and guascas. Both are delightful alternatives if you're fond of meatball soup.
Ensure your meatballs stay together during cooking by thoroughly combining all ingredients before shaping them. Breadcrumbs and the egg act as a binding agent for the meatballs, so don't miss out on these. Moreover, meatball size matters. Making them smaller not only cooks them faster but also ensures a better meat distribution throughout the soup. Remember, each spoonful should capture a bit of everything!
Lastly, be generous with herbs like cilantro. They don't just add a vibrant color to the soup but also a burst of fresh flavor that perfectly complements the rich broth and tasty meatballs.
Avoid these Mistakes
A common error many make with this soup is overcooking the meatballs. Overcooking can make them hard and dry. To avoid this, add meatballs after the potatoes and pasta. This order ensures meatballs are cooked just right, retaining their juiciness.
Another frequent mistake is adding too much salt initially. Remember, you can always add more salt at the end if needed, but removing salt from a soup can be challenging. Start with a moderate amount and adjust at the end of cooking to your taste.
If you liked meatball soup, I'd recommend trying Mondongo Soup or Colombian Sancocho. These dishes are also traditional Colombian soups full of flavor and substance. Mondongo Soup is made with beef tripe, while Sancocho can be made with various meats, including beef, chicken, and pork. Both soups also have a variety of vegetables and tubers, making them as nutritious and fulfilling as meatball soup.
You can pair meatball soup with yellow rice. You can also make rice soup or spinach cream soup.
- 1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, or a mix)
- 6 cups beef broth or water
- 2 whisked eggs
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- Finely chopped green onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 8.8 oz. pasta of your choice
- 6 potatoes (diced)
- Chopped cilantro to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Remember, you can also add carrots, depending on your preference…
- Crush the garlic cloves well with a pinch of salt or finely chop them.
- In a bowl, mix the ground meat with the breadcrumbs (if you don't have breadcrumbs, you can add a bit of wheat flour).
- Add the whisked eggs, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste and mix well.
- Form small-sized meatballs.
- In a pot, place the beef broth or water over medium-high heat.
- After 5 minutes, add the potatoes and pasta.
- After 15 minutes, add the finely chopped onion and cilantro. Let it cook for 1 or 2 more minutes, and then it's ready. Serve hot.