Note: This is a wonderfully hearty soup. It is a one dish meal. A real treat anytime, but especially on a cool evening. One of the joys of soup is that they are not an exact science, so feel free to experiment and add more or less of any of the ingredients listed. Remember, you are the cook and it is your kitchen.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 large onion – diced
1 medium sized zucchini – sliced into 1/8 inch pieces and quartered (large dice)
3 carrots – large dice
5 TBS. extra virgin olive oil
4 to 5 cups beef broth (3 cans)
2 cups water
1 bunch cilantro – some for cooking with the soup and some to put over soup when serving
Juice from 2 or 3 limes – depending on the size
Zest from one lime
1 package frozen Armour Original Meat Balls
1 ½ cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
1 – 15 oz. can diced tomatoes – may use fire roasted diced tomatoes too
1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
½ tsp. oregano
20 corn tortillas cut into ½ inch slices
1 ½ cups canola or vegetable oil
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese – I like the white cheddar
In large (5 quart) pot or Dutch oven heat the olive oil, add the onions, sauté for one to two minutes, add the carrots, sauté for another couple of minutes.
Add the zucchini and sauté for another 5 minutes.
Add the lime zest, ½ of the lime juice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, water, oregano, ½ of the cilantro, salt and pepper (remember that it is always better to add less salt and pepper at first since you can adjust the seasoning afterwards).
Cook for about 15 minutes.
Add the meatballs and the frozen corn kernels. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Right before serving add the other half of the lime juice.
Taste before serving to see if any of the seasonings need adjusting.
While the soup is cooking, in a heavy tall sauce pan, warm up the vegetable oil. Heat should be on medium, no hotter than that otherwise you will burn the tortilla chips. When oil is hot, fry tortilla chips in batches of no more than about eight strips at a time. Remove chips to a paper towel lined plate and salt them while they are still hot.
Ladle soup into bowls and add some cheese and a few broken up tortilla chips and cilantro on top. Serve the remainder of the cheese and chips on the side.