Caldo de Albóndigas (Chicken and Vegetable Fritter Soup), photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Caldo de Albóndigas (Chicken and Vegetable Fritter Soup)

Cuisine: Latin
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Albóndigas or fritters are great for any soup, either on their own or as a side dish or appetizer.

When I think of albóndigas or meatballs in a soup, I always assume that they should be round. That’s not the case for this recipe. These albóndigas are more like a fritter or thick patty made up of various meats, seafood or vegetables. This recipe was adapted from the show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on Food Network. I love that show! I am still baffled at how host Guy Fieri can eat all those wonderful, rich foods and still stay fit, LOL! For my recipe, I used chicken that was already cooked and shredded. This would be a great recipe for rotisserie chicken from the local market and you could have dinner prepared in no time.

 

Ingredients

  • For the Soup Base:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 1 large red or orange bell pepper diced
  • 4 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
  • For the Albóndigas:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red onion diced
  • 1/3 cup poblano pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups cooked chicken finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced potatoes cooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • olive oil for frying albóndigas
  • Lemon or lime wedges for garnish
  • serrano or jalapeño pepper diced for garnish
  • avocadoes slices
  • corn tortillas warm

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Directions

  1. For soup base: In a large soup pot, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add in the tomatoes and garlic, cook for another 5 minutes. Add in the remaining soup base ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Taste for salt and keep warm on low.
  2. While the soup is simmering, prepare the albóndigas. In a pan, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onions, poblano and garlic, cook for 5 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients, minus the eggs. Taste for seasoning and cook for a few minutes or until broth has cooked down. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Once cooled, add in the beaten eggs and mix just to combine. If it seems too dry, add more egg. In a skillet, preheat 1/8 cup olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Using a small scoop or larger spoon, add about 3 tablespoons of mixture to hot oil. Press down gently to form a thick patty. Let them cook for 1 to 2 minutes without disturbing, or they may fall apart. Turn over and cook for another minute or until golden brown. Once all albóndigas are done, ladle soup into bowls and add two albóndigas. Garnish with cilantro, lime, chile and avocados. Serve with warm corn tortillas. Yields 6 servings.

Chef Notes

The albóndigas can be made with any cooked meat or cooked vegetables for variation. It was about 1 pound of cooked chicken for this recipe. As you fry the albóndigas, you may have to add more oil.

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