2 Tablespoons uncooked white rice
¼ cup grated carrot or zucchini
½ cup finely chopped onion, divided
1 ¼ cup finely chopped tomato, divided
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon chopped fresh mint or ¼ teaspoon dried mint (optional)
8 ounces ground meat, 15% fat or less (beef, chicken, turkey or pork)
¼ cup plain bread crumbs (optional)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
6 cups low-sodium broth (any type)
1 or 2 sprigs fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
2 cups chopped vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned)
- Wash hands with soap and water.
- For meatballs: In a medium bowl, mix together the rice, carrot, ¼ cup onion, ¼ cup tomato, egg, salt, oregano and mint, if desired. Mix in ground meat. Add bread crumbs to help the mixture stick together, if desired.
- Using the palms of your hands or a scoop, roll the mixture into balls about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Set the meatballs aside and wash your hands with soap and water after handling raw meat.
- In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium heat. Add ¼ cup onion and 1 cup tomato and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in broth, oregano and garlic powder, if desired. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
- Add meatballs to the broth. Cover and simmer until the internal temperature of a meatball reaches 165 degrees on a food thermometer, about 20 minutes.
- Add vegetables to the soup and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
- Top with a squeeze of lime juice and chopped cilantro.
- No breadcrumbs? Use 1 Tablespoon cornstarch instead.
Thanks to the OSU Extension Latin Heritage Workgroup for this recipe.