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Beef and Rice Soup with Tomatillos

This beef and rice soup with tomatillos and roasted garlic is a spicy, tangy take on a more traditional beef and rice soup recipe.
5 from 1 vote
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Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 325kcal


Tomatillo and Roasted Garlic Soup Base:

  • pounds tomatillos husks removed and tomatillos rinsed
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Beef and Rice Soup
  • 2 small yellow onions peeled and diced
  • pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground celery seed optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup white rice
  • ½ teaspoon sugar more or less to taste


  • Sour cream cilantro, sliced cherry tomatoes, minced red onions, lime wedges, or diced avocado


Prepare Tomatillo and Base:

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF. Cut the tomatillos in half. Cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise (remove seeds if desired). Without removing the skin, cut the head of garlic in half cross-wise. The cloves should stay in their pods.
  • Arrange the tomatillos and jalapeños, cut-side down, in a baking dish. Place the garlic, cut-side up, on top of the dish and drizzle everything with the extra virgin olive oil. Add a sprinkle of salt. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the garlic is well-browned and the tomatillos are very soft.
  • Turn the broiler on and transfer the baking dish to the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until the tomatillos are charred and the garlic is deep golden brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Carefully scoop the garlic cloves from the skin (the cloves should pop out with a little force from a spoon) and discard the skins. Transfer all the contents of the baking dish to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Start the Beef and Rice Soup:

  • While the tomatillos are baking, prepare the beef and rice soup.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring often, for 6-8 minutes until beginning to soften and turn golden brown.
  • Add the beef and cook for 10-12 minutes, breaking the beef up with a spoon as it cooks.
  • Season the beef and onions with chili powder, cumin, cayenne powder, paprika, coriander, and the ground celery seed, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until fond begins to develop on the bottom of the pot.

Simmer the Soup:

  • Add ½ cup of the chicken stock to the pot and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Add the rest of the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and season to your preferences.

Finish the Soup:

  • Add puréed tomatillos to the soup along with the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking, for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through. Taste and add the sugar, if desired, to help offset the tanginess of the tomatillos. Turn off the heat.

To Serve:

  • Ladle the beef and rice soup into bowls and garnish as desired. Enjoy!


Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 165mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin C: 13mg
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