Sunday, mid-football craze, Mr. Cheese wanted to start working on the Mexican Shrimp and Meatball Soup recipe we found in the Big Flavors book by Jim Fobel. We were in the throes of a breezy, cloudy, drizzly day and a spicy little soup would be the perfect fix. He offered his help but I wanted to be involved since it was for this post. I acknowledged his ‘hunger’ pangs and spent the next hour or so chopping, cooking, stirring, etc. The last hoorah for the soup was to put the shrimp in and let them cook, then taste for final seasoning and viola – soup’s on! Ironically, at about the same time the soup was ready, dear Mr. Cheese rubbed his hands together and in the sweetest, beer-laden, football-watching voice, said “I want pizza!” After the family had a good laugh and I swallowed a few cuss choice words, I called in an order from King’s Bite. If we’re going to eat pizza, we might as well order some of the best around.
There was plenty of soup left for Monday night’s dinner, which is perfect because I had plans with my Sister Cheese, visiting from California and Mr. Cheese has Nephew Cheese coming over to watch football. The Mexican Shrimp and Meatball Soup is once again excellent for Monday’s rainy, cloudy, chilly weather. Sister Cheese and I just returned from our dinner out, and what is on the stove top? An empty pizza box from the leftovers Sister Cheese brought back from the pizzeria, earlier. Drats – Foiled again!! Mr. Cheese admittedly did not taste the soup yet, so I think it’s the football + beer = pizza equation. No matter, I am still giving you the recipe and you will cook it and love it whether you like it or not. The original recipe called for shrimp and meatballs but we have fresh polish sausage brought to us by our friend from her butcher. Rather than scrap the meatball idea altogether, we took most of what would be in the meatballs and put them in the soup – free style. I give all credit to Mr. Cheese for this one, although I am the one who insisted we don’t just pour 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs into the soup. Thank me later.
The first thing that hits the palette is the cool fresh taste of cilantro before you’re snuck up on by the bit of peppers thrown in. Serve with a garnish of finely shredded cheddar.
Mexican Shrimp and Meatball Polish Sausage Soup
- 1 pound fresh polish sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 pound small red-skinned potatoes, cut into small cubes
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 small zucchini, finely grated
- 1 egg white
- 1 can of tomato paste (we use Contadina, unseasoned)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 small banana peppers, seeded and minced
- 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled, de-tailed and deveined
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
How to Make It!
In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and cook the potatoes over medium heat until lightly browned for about 8-10 minutes. Add one cup of chicken broth and cook over medium-high heat until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat, add the cilantro and salt, stir to combine, then cover and set aside.
In the meantime, cook the sausage in a large frying pan over medium heat until fully cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to lessen the grease that goes into the soup, and let drain on paper towels. Set aside.
In a large sauce pot, pour the remaining chicken broth, zucchini, tomato paste, lemon juice, oregano, cumin, banana peppers and scallions. Stir to combine and bring the soup up to a slow bubble at medium-low heat, then add the sausage.
In a small bowl, crack open the egg and separate the white from the yolk. Very slowly, drizzle the egg white into the soup with one hand, while stirring with the other. This spreads the egg throughout the soup adding delicate flavor without it looking like a gob of scrambled egg whites floating on the top. Let the soup simmer at a slow bubble on low heat for 30 minutes and add the raw shrimp about 15 minutes prior to service. Serve hot and you will hear the crowd roar in appreciation. ¡Delicioso! Smaczne! Serves 6