At Small Notebook, Rachel posts a beautiful recipe for New England clam chowder and asks readers for other soup recipes.
Here’s one for a Mexican-style meatball soup, which came from my old journalist friend Larry Cheek, a restaurant critic and wonderful cook.
1 pound very lean ground beef
1 raw egg
1/2 pound chorizo (optional)
one small hot chili pepper, minced (use rubber or latex gloves while handling chili peppers, especially if you wear contact lenses—don’t rub your face or touch contacts after handling chilis)
About 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
Small handful of cilantro, chopped (about 1/4 to 1/2 bunch)
At least a quart of chicken broth (more, if desired)
About 1/2 glass pale beer
A few corn tortillas, preferably somewhat stale
Time: About 35 minutes.
Cut the tortillas into wedges. Set aside.
Combine the beef, egg, chorizo, chili pepper, chili powder, garlic, and about 1/2 the cilantro in a bowl. Mix well. Roll chunks of this mixture into meat balls, about the size of a golf ball.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or small stock pot. Toss the meatballs into the hot oil and brown, using a large spoon to roll them gently until browned on all sides. When the meat balls are well browned, gently pour the chicken broth into the pot. Add some beer. Simmer the soup over low heat for about 20 minutes.
At the last minute, add the rest of the cilantro and the tortilla wedges to the hot soup and serve it up.