Southwestern Meatball Tortilla Soup

Since the sun hasn’t been gracing us with it’s warmth and glory lately, we have to make our own warm “soulful” sunshine. 

This soup will do just that.  There’s nothing like a little bit of spice from this tortilla soup to make your soul feel full of sunshine.

I thought it would be fun to pair this delicious little soup with some Southwestern style meatballs.  However, you can certainly leave this soup meatless or chop some rotisserie chicken into the soup instead of using the meatballs.

Let’s get started.

Once all your chopping is done, the soup comes together very quickly.

Heat your olive oil in a large stock pot.  Add the onions, Anaheim peppers, red peppers and carrots.  Season with a little salt and pepper. 

Saute for about 5 minutes, or until they start to get a little bit soft.  Add the garlic and saute for another minute.

Add in all those spices.  If you don’t have any Ancho chili powder, then just use an additional teaspoon of regular chili powder.

Saute the spices for about one minute.

Add in your corn and the chicken stock/broth.

One can of diced tomatoes with green chilies.  I find that the Rotel has a little more kick or spice to it than the other brands.  I like spice.

Add in those healthy little black beans.

Squeeze in your lime…..oh yes…yummy lime.

Now add in those corn tortillas. 

Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes.  While the soup slowly simmers, let’s make the meatballs.

What’s not to love about these ingredients?

I found this ground turkey that is already seasoned with taco seasoning. 

 If you can’t find this particular product, just use regular ground turkey and add in one packet of your favorite taco seasoning.

We need to soften the tortillas up before we dice them and put them into the meatball mixture.

Just get out a small 8″ pan or so, heat it on high.  Once pan is warm place the tortilla on the heat for about 1 minute on one side and 30 seconds on the second side.  Place in foil.  Once all the tortillas have been softened, then cut into small squares.

Place all the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and gently mix, incorporating everything together well.

Measure out each meatball by the tablespoon.  We don’t want them too big for the soup.  This will make approximately 38 meatballs.

Heat the oil.  Once hot, gently drop in half of the meatballs into the oil, browning on each side and drain on paper towels.  Brown second batch.

Place all the meatballs into the pot of soup.  Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes with the meatballs.

If the soup seems too thick, then add in the additional 14-oz can of chicken broth.

Right before serving, add in the freshly chopped cilantro.

You can top the soup with flavored corn tortillas, diced avocado, more cilantro, pepper Jack cheese, red onions, sour cream and serve with a wedge of lime.

I am sure you will come back for more. 

Now open wide……and let the sun shine in!

Southwestern Meatball Tortilla Soup
Serves 6

For the Tortilla Soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 Anaheim pepper, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder (if you don’t have Ancho just use another teaspoon of the regular chili powder)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 14.5-oz can Diced Tomatoes with green chilies OR 1 10-oz can Rotel with lime juice and cilantro OR just a can of diced tomatoes and a can of green chilies
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
32 oz. carton of chicken broth plus 1 14-oz can of chicken broth**
juice of 1 large lime
4 6-inch yellow corn tortillas, diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

In a large stockpot heat the olive oil.  Add the onions, bell pepper and Anaheim pepper, season with salt and pepper.  Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute another 1 minute.  Add in the chili powders and cumin.  Saute for about 1 minute, you will smell the aroma of the spices, this will help release their natural oils and give you a very nice flavor for your soup.  Add in the 32 ounces of chicken broth, black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes.  Give it a good stir and squeeze in the juice of 1 lime.  Bring to a boil and immediately reduce down to a simmer. 

*At this point you can leave it meatless for your meatless Monday meal, add 1 cup or so of chopped rotisserie chicken or add these delicious Southwestern style meatballs.

While the soup is gently simmering, let’s make the Southwestern Style Meatballs.

Southwestern Meatballs
8 oz. Jimmy Dean Sausage (regular flavor)
8 oz. ground turkey that is taco flavored OR 8 oz regular turkey and 1 package taco seasoning
1 egg
3 6-inch corn tortillas that have been softened over heat, cut into small pieces
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely minced (since you only need one chili, you can freeze the others to use later) OR you can use 1 tablespoon of Chipotle hot sauce
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl, combine the pork, turkey, eggs, tortillas, chile, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper until blended.  Measure out 1 tablespoon per meatball and place on baking sheet.

In a large 12″ skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil until a piece of tortilla floats and bubbles in the oil.  Add half of the meatballs (we don’t want to crowd the hot tub), and fry until browned on all sides.  Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.  Fry the other half, draining on paper towels.  (OR you can bake them, spraying each side lightly with olive oil cooking spray, baking at 375 for about 10 minutes each side).

Add the meatballs into the tortilla soup and allow the meatballs to simmer in the soup for about 15 minutes.

**If the soup seems too thick, add the remaining 14 oz can of  chicken broth.

Garnish the soup with additional cilantro, diced avocado, red onion, flavored tortilla chips, your choice of cheese (pepper Jack is a great one) and sour cream.  Serve with a wedge of lime.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *