When my instagram friends, Tales of the Cork’s Greg and Geena, made a Mexican meatball soup a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to make some. What could be better than meatballs, Mexican flavors, soup, and cheese when it is cold outside? Anything? I didn’t think so.
Never having made this kind of soup before, I googled for some Mexican meatball soup recipes. When looking for recipes, there are several boxes that I need to check before deciding on it.
- Do I have most of the ingredients already?
- Is it healthy? Meaning, does the recipe call for clean ingredients?
- If I need to buy ingredients, are they easy to find and cheap to buy?
- Is it easy to make?
If the answer to all of these questions is “yes”, it is a winner! So, when I found Will Cook for Smiles Mexican Meatball Soup, I was sold! What I liked about her recipe was that it was one of the few that called for chilis in adobo sauce. This is one of my all time favorite ingredients. Chilis in adobo (which I also talk about here) come in a small can. Jalapeño or chipotle peppers are usually what is used, and they are dried out before putting them in this adobo sauce. The sauce brings out more of the dried, smoky, and spicy flavors. If you like heat, this ingredient is great to add to tacos, enchiladas, or Mexican meatball soup!
Will Cook for Smiles’ recipe didn’t take long to make at all…maybe 30 minutes once I finished chopping everything? This is a great weeknight meal to make that can easily be doubled for leftovers. The meal was so flavorful and had the perfect amount of spice from the chilis. Dr. GP added rice to the meal and I added cauliflower rice. We both put cheese and cilantro on top. The meal was very filling and because it was so flavorful, we felt very satisfied!
The wine I paired with tonight was one that I posted about just a few days ago; a 2013 Casarena Reservado Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. This is an excellent and unique Malbec. Rather than writing a new description, I will use the description that I used from my previous post.
“The nose was a little harsh: full of dried flowers, tobacco, nutmeg, and a slight vanilla. The bark was definitely worse than it’s bite. While the nose was harsh, the taste was rather soft: full of cranberries, chocolate, and black fruits. It was dry, with medium tannins, and a nice, long finish.”
What I liked about Casarena is that it had a lot more smoky and tobacco-ey flavors that I typically taste in Malbecs. This is due to the type of oak barrel that they used to age the wine. A Malbec with these spicier flavors, I feel goes better with sauces/soups. If you were to pair it with something without a fruity or acidic sauce, like a steak, the wine would be spicier because nothing would absorb those flavors. With a fruity and acidic based soup like this one, those flavors would enhance the berry notes of the wine and lessen the harshness of the wine.
This pairing earned itself 4 grapes . Like I suspected, many of the fruitier notes of the wine came out and much of the harsh flavors were muted from the acidity of the soup. However, that yummy chocolate flavor was almost gone due to the heat of the chilis. Also, I didn’t sear the meatballs long enough, which made them somewhat soft and fragile. That being said, these are minor flaws for an otherwise wonderful meal! I definitely recommend adding rice, cheese, cilantro, and/or avocado. I love cilantro, so I might add even more in the leftovers! Thank you again to Tales of the Cork for the idea, and thank you Will Cook for Smiles for a great meal! Can’t wait to cook more of them!
Recipe: Mexican Meatball Soup
Wine: 2013 Casarena Reservado Malbec ($20)