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Vegetarian Meatball Tortilla Soup
Recipe by Chef Tom Fraker

For the meatballs:
1 (12 oz.) Package Melissa’s Soyrizo
1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Melissa’s Perfect Sweet Onion, minced
2 cloves Melissa’s Peeled Garlic, minced
1 pinch Kosher Salt
1 pinch Freshly Ground Pepper
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the soup:
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Melissa’s Perfect Sweet Onion, diced small
3 cloves Melissa’s Peeled Garlic, minced
2 Carrots, ends trimmed; chopped
2 ribs Celery, ends trimmed; chopped
1 cup Red Chile Sauce
1 (28 ounce) can Stewed Tomatoes
2 Roasted Green Chiles (such as Hatch), chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, stem and seeds removed, diced
8 cups Vegetable Stock/Broth
1 (3 oz.) package Melissa’s Dry Roasted Sweet Corn
2 teaspoons Dried Mexican Oregano
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 tablespoon Chili Powder
1/3 cup Sherry
1 Lime
Shredded Cheese for Garnish
Ripe Avocado for Garnish

For the meatballs:
Combine the soyrizo and the next 6 ingredients. Form the mixture into small balls. You should get about 14.
Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan and sear the meatballs. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and caramelize the onion. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and cook for 3 minutes. Add the meatballs and the chile sauce. Next add the tomatoes and the next 8 ingredients. Gently stir and bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the juice from the lime.

To serve, ladle the soup into separate bowls and garnish with fresh fried tortilla strips (optional), cheese and avocado. Makes about 8-10 servings.