This soup had it all!  Hearty beef meatballs, sweet fresh corn, protein packed kidney beans and those amazing and unmistakable mexican flavours of chilli, cumin and paprika.  Served with fresh chilli and coriander corn bread (recipe to follow) and topped with hot to trot jalapeños, all that was needed were  sombreros and the finest quality tequila…….Ole`

Serves 4-6

For the soup:

Extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 long red chillies, finely chopped (seeds removed if you want it milder)
1 large brown onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 red capsicum, seeds removed and finely diced
2 tbs of paprika
2 tbs of ground coriander
2 tbs of ground cumin
1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
2 large corn cobs, kernels removed (hold the corn upright and run your knife down the side)
100gms of baby spinach leaves
2 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
1 bunch of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 litre of salt reduced chicken stock
500gm bottle of tomato sugo
2 cups of water
1 tbs of sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Sea salt and pepper
Sour cream and pickled jalapeños to serve

For the Meatballs:

500gm of lean beef mince
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 bunch of coriander stalks, finely chopped
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of ground coriander
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 cup of bread crumbs
1 egg
Sea salt and pepper

To make the meatballs, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands to combine.  Wet your hands and roll little bite sized balls with your palms and place them on a plate.  Set aside.

Heat a large pot on the stove and pour in a good lug of extra virgin olive oil.  Lightly fry the onion, garlic, chilli, capsicum and celery until soft and then add your cumin, coriander, paprika and chilli flakes.  Fry until aromatic and then pour in the stock, sugo and water.  Season generously with salt and pepper and add the sugar and lime juice.  Bring to the boil, add your meatballs and allow to bubble away on a low simmer for about 1 hour.

After an hour pop in the corn kernels and simmer for a further 10 minutes.  Just before serving add the baby spinach and  about 3/4 of the coriander leaves.  Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Ladle a generous amount of soup into 4 large serving bowls.  Place a dollop of sour cream in the centre and sprinkle over the spring onions, remaining coriander and a few jalapeños for flavour.
Serve with the steaming corn bread…….You will have to turn the page for that one!