Sopa de Albondigas with Caramelized Onions and Sweet Potato Matchsticks by Jesse Bluma








Albondigas soup originates from Spain, with influences of Europe and the Middle East.  My recipe below is based upon the recipe my aunt uses to make her version.  She uses hamburger, while I use Soyrizo.  Additionally, I added a Greek yogurt, caramelized onion, and sweet potato matchsticks for topping.  This is one of those soups that you can make your own.   



Ingredients 
(*Note:  use organic ingredients)


1 organic, whole young chicken (after preparing broth use the chicken meat for another dish)
3 large yellow onions coarsely chopped
4 large stalks celery coarsely chopped
4 large carrots coarsely chopped
2  Hungarian peppers/hot yellow pepper/hot wax pepper (unseeded)
1 yellow bell pepper (seeded)
2 red bell pepper (seeded)
1 orange bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
water

1 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper

6 garlic cloves
1 pound Soyrizo (a store bought soy with flavor of Mexican chorizo)
1 cup, plus 3 tablespoons organic Texmati rice (a store bought rice blend of long grain rice and basmati rice)
1 can whole tomatoes (35 ounces)
1 teaspoon cumin 
2 teaspoons oregano 
1/2 teaspoon teaspoon smoked paprika 
curly-leaf parsley
1 sprig fresh sage

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 sweet potato 
olive oil
sea salt



Chicken Broth 
(*Note:  Make the broth the day before making the soup)

Peel and rough chop yellow onions.
Wash, dry, and rough cut 2 stalks celery, 2 carrots, hungarian peppers, yellow, red, and orange bell peppers.  
Place whole chicken, onions, celery, carrots, hungarian, and bell peppers in a large stockpot.
Add six 6 cups cold water. 
Cover and bring to a boil. 
Reduce to a very gentle simmer, keep covered, and cook for approximately 2 hours. 
Skim off any “skin” that may form at the top.
Remove the chicken from the stockpot, using utensils and being aware of the high heat.
Place a colander in a large bowl that will hold the stock.
Pour the remaining contents into the colander, staining out the vegetables.  
Cut the chicken into smaller chunks to cool faster before refrigeration.
Divide the broth liquid into smaller containers for faster cooling before refrigeration.
(Broth will last three days in an air tight container in the refrigerator and in the freezer for four months.)
The following day remove the layer of fat at the top of the liquid with a spoon.  Discard the fat in the trash, not down the sink drain.


Soup
Follow package directions to make Texmati rice (I use the ratio 1 cup, plus 3 tablespoons rice with 2 cups water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes covered, remove from heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.  I do not add butter or salt to the rice.)
*After rice has cooked 30 minutes, scoop out 3 tablespoons of rice, then let the remaining rice continue cooking.
Mix Soyrizo with 3 tablespoons Texmati rice and and 1 teaspoon oregano.

Pre-heat a large skillet to medium heat.
Use a cookie scoop to form Soyrizo mixture into balls.  
Place small batches of Soyrizo balls into the skillet, turning after 4 to five minutes, to brown.  (Placing all the Soyrizo into the skillet will prevent browning)
*Remember to remove the remaining rice from the stove when it has finished cooking.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 204 degrees Celsius.  
Wash, dry, and chop 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks into even, same size pieces.
Toss carrots and celery in a bowl with 2 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt.    
Line a large sheet pan or two smaller sheet pans with parchment paper.
Place the carrots and celery on the pan and roast for approximately 20 minutes in the oven.

Preheat a skillet to medium heat on the stove.
Wash, dry, and dice 1 green bell pepper. 
Place the diced pepper in the skillet, until slightly browned and blackened.  
Crush the tomatoes by hand or with a fork.
Peel and dice 3 garlic cloves.
In a large pot add the roasted carrots, celery, bell pepper, tomatoes, and garlic.
Add in the cumin, oregano, parsley, sage, smoked paprika, salt to taste, and fresh cracked pepper.
Cover pot and simmer for 45 minutes.

*While simmering, make the caramelized onion for the Greek yogurt mixture and make sweet potato matchsticks.
At 30 minutes add in the Soyrizo balls and chicken broth into the pot.
At the very end add in the 1 cup Texmati rice into the pot.
Remove sprig of sage.


Garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit or 218 degrees Celsius.  

Wash, dry, and cut sweet sweet potato into matchstick size pieces.
Toss with a pinch or sea salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and three peeled garlic cloves.
Bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes, until nicely browned.

Preheat a large skillet to medium-high temperature.

Peel and dice an onion into even size small pieces.
Place 2 tablespoons olive oil into the skillet.  (*Note:  The oil is ready when it ripples)
Add in the diced onion.  
Stir in a pinch of salt.
Continue to stir until onion turns darker in color and is nicely browned.
At the end, add in a small amount of broth to deglaze the pan.  The broth will evaporate, allowing the onion to be loosened from the skillet with a wooden spoon.

Mix 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup caramelized onion, and 3 tablespoons snipped parsley.
Dollop Greek yogurt mixture on top of bowls of soup, a snip of parley, and a few sweet potato matchsticks.  











Artisanal treats by Jesse Bluma at PointeViven
using organic ingredients and inspiration
from California, Central, and South America.

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