Every now and then I'll find myself craving a dish that no one else but my mother could make. I need only close my eyes for a moment before I'm seeing vivid flashbacks of her presiding comfortably over our kitchen, making tortillas from scratch, crafting some delicious creation, whose fragrance simmers welcomingly from the stove. I feel very fortunate to have grown up in a house where there was never a shortage of fresh tortillas, rice, or beans. It's funny because as a child I didn't understand why my mother didn't venture out beyond these basics, but now I know these were the building blocks of my mother's childhood; they're what she knew. My mother is originally from Mexico, so she would typically make meals that resembled the ones her mother made for her when she was growing up. Between these two women, I know that I have tasted some of the best Mexican food I will ever eat (it helps to have been back and forth countless times to small, authentic towns in the heart of that beautiful country—I know good Mexican food). As I got older, I realized that I would eventually have to make my mother's signature dishes for myself. Keeping this in mind, I was always ready to watch, learn, and help my mom whenever she stepped into the kitchen. I am still trying to perfect many of her recipes, and today I'm sharing one of my favorites: albondigas soup.
Albondigas soup (''meatballs soup'' in Spanish) is wonderfully fragrant and very satisfying. It's a hearty mixture of fresh vegetables, flavorful broth, and herb-seasoned meat. And these meatballs are uniquely stuffed with uncooked rice, which, once the soup is ready, transform the meatballs into plump, flavorful bits of heaven. This soup can serve about 4-6, so when I make it at home John and I just slowly enjoy it over a couple days. In my mind this soup is such a staple Mexican meal. I've tried a few versions at some restaurants that are slightly different than what I'm used to, but nothing compares to a batch of this made right at home.
Now, no warm and cozy meal is complete without wine, right? I decided to pair this soup with the oh-so delicious 2014 Monterey Pinot Noir from La Crema. Hints of plum on the nose, cherry on the pallet, and subtle minerality all throughout make this a fantastic compliment to albondigas soup.
To get the recipe make sure to head over to La Crema's Blog
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