I'll get to this wonderfulness in a minute, but first...
Last year, I had a lot of fun with Land O'Lakes. We made beautiful music---I mean delicious food!---together.
There was this..
Oh. And this.
My kids were not impressed.
This year, we're continuing the fun with more recipes starring my BFF Land O Lakes® Butter, as well as more online videos, because Charlie feels he didn't get enough face time last year. The diva.
But wait! There's more! This year, Land O'Lakes and I decided to create more of a party atmosphere and invite some other food bloggers to join in on the fun through a new interactive forum called Kitchen Conversations.
Kitchen Conversations is going to be about sharing recipes, tips, cooking experiences...and learning from each other's hits and misses in the kitchen.
Joining the Kitchen Conversation panel are some friends of mine that are not only incredible food bloggers... but also all-around good souls: Brenda from A Farmgirl's Dabbles, Sommer from A Spicy Perspective, Julie from The Little Kitchen, and Maria Two Peas & Their Pod (whose son Caleb, I've decided, is my honorary nephew. What a cutie!)
You can keep up on all the recipes and cooking love through the hashtag #KtchnConvo whether you're on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. You can also check out what we're doing right here on LandOLakes.com.
Our first Kitchen Conversation was all about...food trends! Each of us shared a new food trend and a recipe to go with it. I loved what the other girls came up with, and I'm drooling over their recipes.
As for me...my food trend is something I hold dear to my heart. Meatballs. Yes, I said it. Meatballs. I love the things! You might remember these scrumptious little wonders from last year.
Meatballs are everywhere! It's true! You never know when you're going to bump into one of them. You could be walking down the street, minding your own business, when WHAM! There's a meatball. I love meatballs because you can serve them on toothpicks as appetizers, over pasta for a hearty meal, in a hoagie bun for a meatball sub...or sandwiched in between a small dinner roll for a quick bite.
And you can put them in soup, which is what I did recently. It was divine!
To describe this delicious soup as merely a "delicious soup" is the understatement of the year! First of all, it's beyond delicious! Flavorful, fabulous, and fantastic is more like it. And it's really much more than a soup: It's more of a stew. A stew full of wonderful texture and color, with an added bonus of yummy meatballs in every bowlful. My family absolutely inhaled it.
The Cast of Characters: Land O Lakes® Salted Butter in Half Sticks, ground beef, Pepper Jack cheese, fresh parsley, egg, panko breadcrumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, lime, onion, red bell pepper, corn, beef broth, diced tomatoes with chilies, tomato paste, black beans, and corn tortillas. It may look like a lot of ingredients, but it really is a cinch to throw together!
The star of the show is the Land O Lakes® Salted Butter in Half Sticks, which I use like crazy when I cook.
I was always one of those girls who had, at any given time, fifteen to twenty half-used sticks of butter in her kitchen door. It's true. These solve that problem! Since lots of my recipes call for 2 to 4 tablespoons of butter, the Half Sticks rock my world.
First step for the soup, make the meat mixture for the meatballs! Combine the ground beef, Pepper Jack cheese, parsley, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, breadcrumbs, and the juice of the lime in a bowl.
Use your hands to smash and mush the mixture together...
Then form the mixture into about 24 meatballs!
Set the meatballs on a cookie sheet and throw 'em in the fridge to chill for about 25 or 30 minutes. This'll make 'em easier to fry.
While the meatballs are chilling, prepare the other ingredients: Slice the corners off of two cobs of corn (or for a shortcut, you can just use 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels!)
Dice up a red bell pepper and half a large onion.
When the meatballs have finished chilling, cut the Land O Lakes® Salted Butter Half Stick in half...
Then throw it into a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
When the butter is melted and sizzling, begin browning the meatballs, eight at a time...
Turning them after about a minute, when the surface is nice and brown. (The meatballs don't need to be cooked through at this stage.)
Remove them to a plate...
Then throw in the second batch and brown them in the same way.
Repeat until all the meatballs are browned, and set them aside for a bit.
Without cleaning the pot (and don't worry about all the bits in the bottom of the pot; that means flavor, baby!) add the other 2 tablespoons of butter....
And when it's melted, add the onion, red bell pepper, and corn.
Stir this mixture around and cook it for about 2 to 3 minutes...
Then pour in the beef broth...
The tomato paste...
The diced tomatoes and green chilies (juice and all!)...
And 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cumin---same as the meatballs. I'm so matchy sometimes!
Drain and rinse the beans, then throw them in...
Then bring the whole delicious pot of fabulousness to a boil and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
After that time, add the meatballs back into the pot and gently stir them to combine, then reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for 15 minutes or so, until the meatballs are done.
While the soup is simmering, grab six corn tortillas and cut them into thin slices.
You can certainly leave these out, but they add a great texture and flavor to the soup!
Also, for fixin' time, slice some avocado and set it aside.
The soup looks fantastic by now! And your kitchen smells like a dreamworld. Yum!
Right before serving, throw in the tortilla strips and gently stir them in. They'll soften immediately and even fall apart a little bit...but boy, do they add great flavor.
Serve up the soup in a bowl, and top with a dollop of sour cream, a couple of slices of avocado, some extra grated pepper Jack cheese, and a few cilantro leaves.
This is totally, absolutely out of this world! Hope you love it as much as my household did.
Meatball Tortilla Soup
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup pepper Jack cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 cup seasoned panko or other breadcrumbs
- Juice of 1 lime (about 1 tablespoon juice)
- 1 Half Stick (1/4 cup) Land O Lakes® Butter
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 2 ears corn, kernels sliced off (or you can use 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 6 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with chilies
- 1 4-ounce can tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 14.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 6-inch corn tortillas
- Sour cream
- Extra grated pepper Jack cheese
- Cilantro leaves
Combine all meatball ingredients and mix well. Shape into small balls (about 24 total) and chill for 30 minutes.
After chilling, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a heavy pot. Briefly brown meatballs in three batches, then remove to a plate.
Add 2 more tablespoons butter to pan and allow to melt. Add onions, garlic, corn, and bell pepper and stir to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add beef stock, canned tomatoes with chilies, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and salt. Bring to a boil, allow to boil for 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the beans, and then place the meatballs back into the pot. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until meatballs are done all the way through. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Cut tortillas into thin strips. When the soup is ready, stir the strips into the soup (they will soften).
Serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream, a slice of avocado, a little grated cheese, and a few cilantro leaves.
Disclosure: I've partnered with Land O'Lakes for an exclusive endorsement of Land O Lakes® Butter . This blog post is sponsored by Land O'Lakes.