Mexican Meatball Soup with Watermelon-Cola Salsa and Cola Guacamole

Main Ingredients
avocado cola corn tortilla ground beef watermelon zucchini
Battle
beezuwatco
Info
dairy-free
Course
main

Unbelievable! This was really yummy and the kids even liked it. I am licking the plates and did not expect to at all! I made this twice and it came out even better the second time.

The feedback was:

  • you can’t really taste or see the zucchini (I am in shock that this was a criticism). Fixed this the second time, and it was great!
  • the cola is elusive
  • the meatballs fell apart a little. Fixed this the second time!

My daughter said the watermelon made the whole dish. Everyone cleaned their plates. I count this as a major win, considering that I’m usually the only one who enjoys Mexican food!

Recipe

Mexican Meatball Soup with Watermelon-Cola Salsa and Cola Guacamole

Preparation

For the meatballs:

  • 3 small zucchini
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt

For the soup:

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1/4 jalapeno
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of watermelon cubes
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock

For the salsa:

  • 2 cups of watermelon cubes
  • 1/2 cup cola
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 lime

For the guacamole:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp cola
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt

For the tortilla strips:

  • 3 corn tortillas
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the meatballs: Peel the zucchini, then shred them in a food processor. The first time, I grated the zucchini, but it came out very wet, which probably caused my meatballs to be too soft. So, shred, don't grate... it makes the zucchini more visible too. Place grated zucchini in a colander, and sprinkle salt all over. Put the colander over the sink and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Mix the shredded zucchini with the ground beef in a bowl. Add panko... everything tastes better with panko! Mix in egg, cumin, oregano and salt. 

Form the meatballs and arrange them in a 13x9" baking pan. It should make about 50 small meatballs. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

To make the soup: Roast the jalapeno pepper over the burner on your stove. Of course, you can really only do that if you have a gas range. If you have an electric range, go find a flame somewhere else and burn the heck out of the jalapeno's skin. Run the pepper under water and gently rub to remove the burnt roasted outside layer, and you have a roasted jalapeno pepper.

Remove stems from tomatoes. You can optionally skin the tomatoes by boiling them for a minute and peeling off the skins. But, I was lazy and threw them in the food processor, skins and all. Process until slighty chunky. Throw in some roasted jalapeno (to taste), juice of half the lime, half of the cilantro bunch, and salt. Throw in a few of the watermelon chunks for good measure. Pulse a few times. Love my food processor. The mixture should not be chunky, but not entirely smooth either.

Put the tomato mixture into a saucepan and boil. Add chicken stock. Throw meatballs into the pot when they are done baking. Continue cooking over low heat until all of the meatball juices are all mixed into the soup mixture and it thickens a bit, about 30 minutes. Some of the shredded zucchini may separate from the meatballs, but that's ok. 

To make the salsa: Cut the watermelon into small dice. Chop up the cilantro and stir into the watermelon. Pour the cola over the top and let the watermelon soak it up. Add some lime juice also. This comes out very watery, and I would probably try harder to thicken it up somehow next time, so it keeps the cola flavor. I poured the liquid off before serving. It's not bad as a drink, maybe with a little vodka mixed in.

 

To make the guacamole: Mash up the avocado. Add the cola, cumin and salt.

To make the tortilla strips: Slice the tortillas long and thin. Saute in olive oil until crunchy.

To serve: Put the soup in a bowl with four or five meatballs. Sprinkle with tortilla strips on top. Arrange a dollop of watermelon-cola salsa and a dollop of guacamole on top. Enjoy, and keep the leftovers for tomorrow!

Comments or Suggestions