Meatballs –

  • 2 pound ground beef or pork, or a combination of the two
  • 2 egg
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup (packed) crushed corn tortilla chips
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, olive oil, bacon drippings or freshly rendered pork lard
  • 2 chipotle en adobo + 1 tablespoon of adobo from chipotle can

Broth –

  • 3-4 teaspoons cumin
  • 12 Roma (plum) tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or more to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 8 small Mexican squash, cubed


  • Together in a bowl, mix the meat, egg, garlic, salt, chipotle and adobo sauce and mint. Then add in the tortilla chip crumbs.
  • Using your fingers or a spoon, mix everything together, being careful to get an even distribution without beating or compacting the mixture too much. Form the mixture into 24 meatballs, rolling them gently between your palms without pressing too hard.
  • Next, in a very large (12-inch) skillet (heavy cast iron or nonstick), heat the oil (or one of its stand-ins) over medium. When it’s hot, add the meatballs in a single uncrowded layer. As they brown on one side, turn them with tongs or a spatula, continuing until they’re evenly and richly browned all over, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Set aside – reserve grease, fat or oils for broth (below)
  • Combine 12 Roma tomatoes, whole onion, chipotle peppers, and garlic in a blender. Process until smooth.
  • Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add tomato mixture to hot oil. Cook until color changes, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and reserved fats/oils/grease from meatballs; reduce heat and simmer soup until ready to add meatballs, about 10 minutes.
  • Bring soup to a rolling boil. Place a meatball into a ladle; submerge and release it into the boiling liquid. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
  • Stir potatoes and squash into the soup and return to a boil. Reduce heat, season with salt, and cover the pot. Simmer until meatballs are no longer pink and vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.