If you can't find fresh corn on the cob, substitute 2 cups frozen corn kernels, and broil them with peppers. After making this Tortilla Meatball Soup, you can use a few leftover chipotle chiles to spice up a pot of beans, rice, stews, or canola mayonnaise.
2 jalapeño peppers
1 red bell pepper
2 ears corn on the cob
4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 pound ground sirloin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups (3/4-inch) cubed red potatoes
1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices carrot
3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
How to Make It
Cut jalapeños and bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Arrange corn on baking sheet with peppers. Broil 4 to 6 minutes or until blackened, turning corn once. Place peppers in a paper bag; fold to seal. Let stand 15 minutes; peel. Mince jalapeños, and coarsely chop bell pepper. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Set aside.
Place tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat with cooking spray. Broil for 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning after 2 minutes. Set aside.
Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 garlic clove, panko, and the next 3 ingredients (through chipotle chile) in a large bowl, and gently mix until just combined. With moist hands, shape the meat mixture into 24 meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each).
Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs to pan; sauté for 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from pan. Add onion, potatoes, and carrot to pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 5 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add peppers, broth, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Return meatballs to pan. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and corn; return to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes or until meatballs are done. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with 4 teaspoons Monterey Jack cheese, 2 teaspoons cheddar cheese, and 4 teaspoons cilantro. Top evenly with tortilla strips.