Soup season is upon us and that makes me excited!  I just love a good hearty soup full of meat & veg and the options are endless. This Mexican Meatball & Black Bean version is no exception and is deemed to be a family winter favourite.  The tender spiced Mexican Meatballs were a total standout and paired with a spicy veg and protein loaded Black Bean broth, pickled Jalapeno infused sour cream topper and oozy cheese tortillas, the Amigos will be beating down the door of the Hacienda for seconds.  Mark my words!

This Mexican Meatball soup is made with my very own Mexican Spice Blend.  It literally takes a couple of minutes to make and is so much better, in every way than a store bought variety.  I make it in big quantities and store it in an airtight jar in the cupboard, ready to use at anytime and you will find it in a lot of my Mexican recipes……for example, this one!   Mexican Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Prep time:  30  Minutes

Cooking time:  1 Hour 

$$  Medium Budget

Serves 6-8

For the Mexican Meatballs:

500gm of pork mince

1/2 a cup of bread crumbs

1 heaped tbs of Em’s Mexican Spice Blend

1 heaped tbs of Chipotle Chilli’s in Adobo 

1 egg

2 tbs of finely chopped fresh coriander stalks

Sea salt & Pepper

For the Soup:

1 large brown onion, finely diced

4 cloves of garlic, finely minced

1 long green chilli, finely chopped (seeds removed optional)

4 celery stalks, diced

1 yellow capsicum, diced

2 large corn cobs, chargrilled on a BBQ or in a griddle pan (a tin of corn or frozen would be fine if you’re in a hurry but you will miss out on the flavour)

1 bag of chopped kale

2 tbs of Chipotle Chilli’s in Adobo

2 tbs of Em’s Mexican Spice Blend

2 x tins of black beans, rinsed and drained

2 x tins of diced tomatoes

1 litre of Salt Reduced Chicken Stock

500ml of water

2 tbs of tomato paste

1 tsp of sugar

Juice of 1 lime

Sea salt and Pepper

1 cup of chopped fresh coriander leaves

2 cups of grated tasty cheese

4-6 tortillas or large wraps (I love the Lime & Chilli ones for this)

Coriander sprigs and fresh chilli slices to serve

For the Jalapeno Cream:

200gm of Sour Cream

Zest of 1 lime and juice of half

1 large tbs of pickled jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped

1 tbs of pickled jalapeno juice

To make the Mexican Meatballs, place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use a clean hand to combine the mixture.  I find this the best way to really disperse the spices through the mince.  Once combined, wet your hands (you may need to do this periodically while rolling) and roll little mini meatballs (a little smaller than a ping pong ball).  Place them on a tray and set aside while you make the soup.

To make the soup for the Mexican Meatballs, heat a large soup pot and add a little oil.  Fry the onion until soft and then add the garlic, celery and capsicum.  When the vegetables are just starting to soften, add the chargrilled corn, black beans, chipotles and spice mix and stir to combine.  Stir for a minute or so and then add the tomatoes, lime juice, sugar, tomato paste, water and stock and season with salt and pepper.  Stir really well to combine and bring the mixture up to the boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the meatballs to the pot.  Cover with a lid and allow to cook for at least 10 minutes but as long as you like.  The longer you cook it the greater the flavour will be.  About 5 minutes before serving stir through the chopped kale and coriander leaves.

To make the Jalapeno Cream, mix all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.

To make the Cheesy Tortillas, heat a griddle or fry pan to nice and hot.  Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese on one half and fold into a half moon.  Place in the pan and cook until golden, flip and cook on the other side until golden and the cheese is melting, then slice into wedges.

To serve, ladle the Mexican Meatball Soup into bowls and spoon the Jalapeno Cream around the bowl (just like the picture).  Scatter over the chilli slices and coriander sprigs and serve with the meltingly delicious cheese tortillas.