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Venison Albondigas Soup

January 23, 2015

Since my wife and I both come from mixed cultures, our cooking often reflects our blend of cultures and foods. For years, while living in Southern California, my wife made Albondigas Soup. Essentially, it is a Mexican meatball soup served in a vegetable broth. However, the version served in California restaurants is usually the clear broth variety, offering little authentic taste.

After improving the Southern California recipe, we moved to Oregon where it was perfected. After 16 years of eating Albondigas Soup there, we moved to Northern Italy. This region is not famous for Mexican dishes but rather for its game based cuisine. Again, because we are multi-cultured, we improvise a lot! In the land of the Tirol, meat is meat and is in short supply with the exception of venison and elk.

After relocating back to the United States, we put our experience to the test. My wife came up with a wonderfully flavorful recipe for Venison Albondigas Soup. We’d like to share it here for all of you. Buon appetito!

Venison Albondigas Soup

Meatball Ingredients:

1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 cup of chopped onion
3 slices of white bread, finely chopped
1/4 cup of minced cilantro
1 tsp of ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp of oregano
1/2 pound of lean ground pork
1/2 pound of ground venison
2 eggs, beaten

Mix all ingredients well and shape into 1-inch meatballs. Chill them for about 15 minutes.

In a non-stick frying pan, add 1 TBSP of the olive oil and brown the meatballs on all sides.

Broth Ingredients:

1 TBSP olive oil
1 cup of chopped onions
1 cup of chopped carrots
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups of beef broth
2 stalks of sliced celery
3 cloves garlic, split
1 head of celery greens
3 whole dried red peppers
1/2 tsp of whole cumin
1 can of diced tomatoes (or 14 ounces of fresh, peeled and chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot, fry the vegetables and spices in 1 TBSP of olive oil until tender. Then add the beef broth and tomato, bringing the broth to a boil.

Reduce the heat and add the meatballs to the broth. Simmer for 35 minutes.

Add the celery greens about 25 minutes into the simmer and complete cooking for the next 10 minutes.

Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup of cilantro.

Please let us know if you try this recipe.

Read author Allen E. Rizzi’s latest books available at Amazon.com

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