It is perfect weather for a warm, hearty bowl of Albóndigas or meatball soup.
Although Albóndigas originated in Spain, the meatball soup is popular throughout Mexico. We’ve had the soup with a light clear broth and with more of a spicy tomato broth. Of course, every Latino family has their own, unique recipe or version of this soup.
In our recipe below, the balance of fresh herbs, tomato broth, and spices gives this recipe for albóndigas soup its simple, yet delicious flavor. Eating this soup takes me back to a time in my childhood when my mom would call me in from playing outside on a chilly day. True comfort food. My mom served small bowls of Mexican rice with the soup and homemade salsa with warm flour tortillas and butter.
Looking for another Mexican beef soup recipe? Try our Caldo de Res.
For the meatballs:
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (It’s important to buy lean)
1 large egg
3/4 cup white rice
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the broth:
6 cups of water + 3/4 cup
1 ½ cups Roma tomatoes, chopped
32 ounces chicken broth
1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup squash, diced
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
Salt to taste
Combine beef, egg, rice, onion, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well by hand. Roll about two tablespoons of ground beef mixture in your hands carefully shaping it into a 1-inch meat balls the size of a golf ball.
In a medium skillet, add olive oil. When oil is hot add the meatballs to brown, but not cooked all the way through. Be careful not to overcrowd the frying pan.
Boil the water and chicken stock in a large saucepan. Add the tomatoes, carrots, squash, and potatoes. Season the broth with the onion powder, cumin, black pepper, and salt to taste. Cook for about 20 minutes to bring to a boil. Gently place meatballs in boiling liquid. Bring back to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer for another 20 minutes.
Ladle soup with about 5 albóndigas per bowl. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, lime wedges, and serve with warm tortillas. If you would like your soup spicy add a spoonful of your favorite homemade salsa.