Albondigas Soup

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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3/4 pound ground round
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup minced fresh onion
1/4 cup bottled salsa
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
cooking spray


2 (6″) corn tortillas, cut into 1/4″ strips
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped and seeded poblano chiles
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup bottled salsa
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 (16 oz.) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (14 oz.) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup diced peeled avocado
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat oven to 450F.

To prepare meatballs:

Combine the first 5 ingredients. Shape the mixture into 32 (3/4″round) meatballs; place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450F for 12 minutes or until the meatballs are done. Set them aside.

To prepare the soup:

Place the tortilla strips in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450F for 5 minutes or until the strips are lightly browned. Set them aside. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, Add 1 cup onion, poblano and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup of salsa and the next 4 ingredients (salsa through tomatoes); reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the meatballs and cook for 5 minutes or until the soup is thoroughly heated. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with the tortilla strips, diced avocado and chopped cilantro.

Yields 4 servings. (serving size: 1-3/4 cups soup, about 12 tortilla strips, 1 Tbsp. avocado, and 1 Tbsp. cilantro)