This Albondigas soup recipe makes a traditional Mexican meatball soup, it’s hearty, flavorful and loaded with vegetables. No need to pre-cook the meatballs, just add them a few at a time to the boiling soup. (Watch the video below to see the process. It’s easy!) Serve the soup alone or alongside cheese quesadillas.
It’s true. I was just going on about light and delicate spring soups. And here I am, less than a week later, telling you about meatball soup. My apologies.
But you see, here’s what April 1st brought us. No fooling. Suddenly Albondigas soup sounded just perfect.
The recipe I’m sharing today is a loose version of this one, using water as a base instead of stock. I’d made Albondigas years ago, and loved it, but hadn’t saved the recipe. All I remembered was that I’d taken the advice of someone who’d commented, “A gringo must have written this recipe. Albondigas should never have a stock base, it should be water.” Oddly enough this is true – I say oddly because I almost always use stock as a soup base. But for Albondigas and Caldo Verde, water is better. I’ve tried them both ways and stock blurs the other flavors.
Though this soup is hearty, it’s not heavy. Yes, there are meatballs, but it’s also loaded with vegetables. And it makes a great dish to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. So maybe it’s a spring soup after all.
Here is a quick video of the process – you’ll see how quickly the soup comes together!
For the Meatballs
- 2 eggs beaten
- 3/4 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound uncooked chorizo sausage casings removed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup cooked rice I used brown basmati
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot diced
- 3 ribs celery thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
- 6 cups water
- 4 small zucchini diced
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or more
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or more
- To make the meatballs, add all ingredients (eggs through pepper) to a medium bowl and mix with your hands until combined.
- Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the meatball mixture on to a baking sheet - into ragged little mounds that are close to the same size. Now pick up one mound and roll it into a ball. Repeat with remaining mounds. Set aside.
- In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook and stir until onion is translucent. Add cumin, oregano, tomatoes, and water. Bring to boil.
- While the soup boils, add meatballs in one by one. Gently stir to submerge. Add zucchini and keep at a high simmer for about 10 minutes, until the zucchini is tender and meatballs are cooked through.
- Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve.