Mexican Albondiga Soup

Albondiga is Spanish for “meatball.”  I’ve already expressed my affinity for meatballs. Well, I also love love love authentic Mexican cuisine. Most of my life, living in sunny Florida, I only enjoyed soup when I was ill. Now that I live in Atlanta and we have actual winters, I have become more curious about hot soups. I adapted this recipe from several I found online – there are many different versions out there. I would be interested to hear from someone of Mexican descent who actually grew up with this soup as a family recipe – how was it prepared?

In any event, I figured with meatballs, how can you go wrong? And I was right 🙂  The soup itself has a flavorful broth, which along with fresh vegetables and the hearty meatballs, makes for a full meal.  I served it with whole wheat pheasant bread and my husband and I both were satisfied with one bowl. You can adjust the recipe by using whatever vegetables you have on hand. I choose vegetables I knew cooked well in soup: green beans, carrots, onions, and corn.

Traditionally, the meatballs are made with beef; I used ground turkey as a healthier option. Feel free to use either option. Also, the stock can vary based on different recipes. I used a combination of chicken and beef bouillon and was very happy with the flavor. You can use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock or any variation.

  • 1.25 pd ground turkey
  • 10-12 cups stock (see note above – chicken, beef, vegetable or combo)
  • One 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup white rice, uncooked/raw
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 1 bag frozen white corn (no sauce/salt)
  • 1 egg
  • Chopped mint & parsley
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Olive or Canola Oil
  • S/P
  1. Heat small amount of oil in large soup pot (5 qt.) over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add broth & tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer.  Add carrots & green beans.
  2. While soup is cooking, take large bowl and mix meat, rice, egg, and a generous amount of mint & parsley. Season with S/P. Form into 1-inch meatballs.
  3. CAREFULLY, add meatballs to simmering soup one at a time. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. During the last 10 minutes add the frozen corn and a few dashes of cayenne (more depending on your desired heat level). The broth mix I used (beef/chicken bouillon combo) provided enough season for me but add S/P to taste if needed.
  4. Serve hot with bread and garnish with chopped herbs and queso blanco.
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