If you love Mexican food as much as I do, you’re going to love this soup. The addition of cheese tortellini puts a delectable spin on this traditional Mexican soup made of meatballs, a flavorful broth, and lots of vegetables.
When you have a hankering for meatballs, it’s hard not to turn to Italian or Swedish cuisines. After all, they have the most notable meatball dishes. A little-known secret, though, is that Spanish cultures have been making meatballs for centuries — and they’re so darn good.
Traditional Mexican meatballs have some variation of beef, onions, potatoes, and rice along with seasonings like mint, oregano, and cumin. While this is a delicious combination, I take a simpler approach in this recipe to ensure balance between all the flavors and the tortellini.
Meatballs for this recipe use beef, cilantro, cumin, garlic, and an egg. I mix all these ingredients together and shape into small, rounded 1” balls. Then, I brown the meatballs in a frying pan with about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Once browned on all sides, I add to the soup mixture to finish cooking.
- The easiest way to prepare this soup is to use a Dutch oven like this 8.5-quart Calphalon Dutch oven. Cook everything in one pot with very little clean up. Yes, please!
- If you don’t have a Dutch oven, no worries. Simply brown your meatballs in a separate frying pan, spoon out once browned and place into your soup mixture. Be sure to use a stock pot that holds at least 8-quarts.
- A small side salad makes a delicious companion to this hearty soup.
- Serve with warmed tortillas or even a crusty bread like Cheesy Ranch Bread Bites.
- You can’t go wrong with a side of chips, salsa, and Authentic Tableside Guacamole.
- Frozen meatballs work just as well in this recipe. I recommend you add ½ cup cilantro with the spinach if preparing using frozen.
- If you prefer, you can brown your meatballs in the oven and avoid the use of vegetable oil. Place your prepared meatballs on an ungreased, rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 450-degrees for about 10 minutes or until browned.
- Have leftover corn on the cob? Strip the kernels off the cob using a convenient kitchen tool like a corn cob stripping tool or the Corn Shark. Add fresh corn to your soup mixture in place of canned or frozen.
- You can use either canned, jarred, or fresh jalapenos in this recipe. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount to meet your tastebud’s liking.
- The recipe calls for Rotel tomatoes; however, canned stewed or roasted tomatoes work just as well.
- Fresh or frozen tortellini work great in this recipe. If using frozen, avoid thawing before cooking, as that can ruin the texture of the pasta.
- While this recipe uses beef for its meatballs, you can easily replace with ground pork, lamb, or turkey.
- For a more traditional soup, I recommend you eliminate the pasta and add these ingredients to your meatballs and follow the rest of the directions on the recipe card.
- ½ cup cooked rice
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a comment and star rating below. It’s always refreshing to hear how others like a recipe, find success with it, or tweak to suit. I’d love to hear from you!