Grandma Josie's mint and meatball soup (Mexican albondiga soup)
This recipe is near and dear to my heart and I guarantee after making it, it will be for you too! This soup is savory, comforting, nourishing and MINTY. (Full recipe below)
Do you have any family recipes that take you back to your childhood, or old nostalgic memories? Almost all of my food memories bring me back to my grandma's house.
My grandma was a Mexican American woman, born and raised in Oakland, CA. She was a receptionist at the Southern Pacific Railroad company where she met my grandpa-- a Mexican immigrant (who came legally--my grandpa was extremely proud of that fact) to California to build the railroads. They met at a work dance and got married.
My Grandpa Miguel taught my grandma how to cook! She didn't know a thing at first, but he taught her his favorite Mexican dishes and she became the most amazing home cook. And in return, my grandma taught him how to speak English.
I read this in a book called Honey from a Weed and it completely struck me:
"Pounding fragrant things--particularly garlic, basil, parsley-- is a tremendous antidote to depression...Pounding these things produces an alteration in one's being--from sighing with fatigue to inhaling with pleasure. The cheering effects of herbs and alliums cannot be too often reiterated." - Patience Gray
Maybe I love this excerpt-- and herbs and cooking with them--so much because it’s been so true in my own personal experience. The aromas allow me to get out of my head, fill me with creativity and transport me to memories of my grandma's house. The smell of mint during this meal prep will uplift and refresh you!
I believe using herbs in my daily life connects me to my ancestors, many whom I never met, guiding me nonetheless-- in cooking, making herbal preparations, and my life in general. (I feel like Tita from Like Water for Chocolate talking like this! This movie or book is a must watch / read!)
This recipe contains a lot of mint. So much that you may think there’s a typo in the recipe, but there is not. Even after you think there’s more mint than a recipe could possibly need and still taste good, don’t forget to garnish each bowl with more fresh mint :)
The savoriness of the meat and broth balance out the fresh mint flavor. The mint’s stimulating yet relaxing properties help you digest this meal and make you marvel at the possibilities of cooking with herbs.
Enjoy and let me know how it goes! Xoxox Veronica
Thank you to my grandma and grandpa for this recipe! Photo below is of my grandparents at my grandpa's soccer game.