Sopa de Albóndigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)

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Comfort foods: you know the ones I'm talking about. They're the dishes you turn to when all you can do is crawl. Whether suffering from fever, hangover, or nostalgia, these dishes are capable of fixing every illness or yearning you've got. Problems melt with the first bite, and it only gets better from there. That's what Sopa de Albóndigas (Mexican meatball soup) does for me. As a little girl, whether it was my mother or my grandmothers, this soup always brought a smile to my face.

Lately, I've been feeling homesick. California homesick.

In the entire time that we've been travelling these past 14 months, this has been the first time ever that I've had this feeling. I'm not sure if it is because it's the holidays or the annoyingly cold weather. I've been finding that I've been cooking a lot of old familiar dishes. Dishes that I grew up with.

Last week I made Sopa de Albóndigas for nostalgic reasons. But, of course, I made this traditional dish a much healthier version. Instead of rice, I used quinoa; and instead of beef or pork, I used white ground turkey; no flour and coconut oil as the cooking oil. It turned out really delicious!

When you think traditional, there isn't always a standard recipe, especially when it comes to Mexican cuisine. Every region in Mexico has its own variation. From within that region, every family has their own variation. Even within my own family, my mom's side and dad's side varies as well. There are those elements within the recipes that remain the same: oregano, mint, zucchini and rice.

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What You'll Need

3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 lb ground white turkey
1 egg
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 onion finely chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup dried oregano
3 springs fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dried mint
8 peppercorns
3/4 teaspoon cumin
salt, to taste
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 cups water

What You'll Need To Know

In a bowl, mix together the ground turkey meat, quinoa, egg, 1/4 chopped onion, mint, salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic. Make the mixture into golf ball sized meatballs. This recipe makes 12 meatballs. If you need to make more, just double up the recipe.

In a stockpot, heat the coconut oil at a medium to low heat and cook the onion gently, without browning, until soft.

Add the tomato, and let it cook for about 3 minutes.

Add 4 cups of water, zucchini, corn, oregano, salt, 1/2 garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cumin and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs, cover the pot and let them simmer for 45 minutes.

Serve in deep bowls and enjoy!

Recipe makes 6-8 servings.