Kicked-Up Albóndigas Soup, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Kicked-Up Albóndigas Soup

Cuisine: Latin
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6-8 servings
Here's my go-to, perfect meatball recipe.

This albóndigas soup recipe is near and dear to my heart because it is my favorite of all of the recipes I learned from my mom. Of course, her recipe was more simple and without all the extra added chiles! But I am a chili-head and just love to add it to my favorite recipes.

I also added zucchini to the soup to make it a bit heartier. The basic flavors are all there and it takes me right back to being a kid. The nice thing about this recipe is that it can be made with any ground meat of your choice. It reminds me of chili because it tastes even better the next day!

Albóndigas are one of my favorite foods so I'm always coming up with ways to incorporate them into my menu. If you like this recipe, check out my albóndigas en sasa verde and my caldo de albóndigas made with bulgur wheat.

Ingredients

  • For the Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1/2 cup jasmine rice uncooked, or long-grain white rice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 chipotle minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the Soup
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 1 small poblano pepper diced
  • 1 medium zucchinis diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 serrano pepper minced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro chopped and more for garnish
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds crushed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds crushed
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

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Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs, including the egg, which will serve as a bonding agent. Stir well to combine, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In a dutch oven pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the onions, poblano, and serrano pepper, season lightly with salt and pepper, cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and chicken broth. Bring up to a boil.
  3. While the soup comes to a boil, crush the oregano, cumin seeds and coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle, add to soup, stir well. Remove the meatball mix from refrigerator and make 30 small meatball while the soup comes to a boil. When soup is boiling, reduce heat just slightly and carefully drop in the meatballs. Gently stir, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 to 35 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking time. Taste for salt. Garnish soup with lime wedges, green onions and more fresh cilantro. Serve with warm corn tortillas.
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