Albondigas Soup is something I am very fond of and order quite often in Mexican restaurants. Having been raised in Anaheim California, I was exposed to a large Hispanic population and Mexican food was a big part of my upbringing. Our family had certain restaurants we would frequent, which made terrific Mexican Meatball Soup, and now years later, living in Los Angeles, we have found some tasty new places, but with LA traffic, it’s not always convenient.
Making Albondigas Soup at home is a relatively simple process. The perfectly formed meatballs and Mexican spiced broth are key. In this recipe, I make meatballs with a little cooked rice and some dried spices – the rice gives the meatballs a little extra lift after poaching.
I enjoy a bowl of this soup on cool evenings anytime of the year – I love it that much. This soup really hits the spot when you are under the weather and need a nice pick-me-up too. Also, Albondigas Soup is perfect for holiday celebrations, like Cinco de Mayo or for a quick bite with the kids before trick-or-treating or a school play.
1 pound ground beef, organic preferably
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon salt + more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2/3 cup cooked rice
1 medium onion
1 red bell pepper
1 medium zucchini
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1 lime + more for garnish
1 quart chicken broth
10 ounce can tomatoes with green chilies
Queso Fresco cheese, optional
1. Dice onion, red pepper and zucchini. Set zucchini aside for later. In a large stock pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion and red pepper, and saute for 4 minutes.
2. Add frozen corn and continue to saute for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken broth to vegetables, stir. Bring mixture up to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low, simmer.
3. In a large bowl, add the ground beef, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, cumin and rice. With your hands, lightly combine meatball ingredients.
4. Form meat mixture into balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Add to hot broth, and let poach for 20 minutes. Make sure the broth isn’t boiling to high, you don’t want the meatballs to toughen up.
5. Add diced zucchini and simmer for about 7 minutes. Rough chop parsley and add it to the soup, along with the juice of 1 lime. Taste soup for saltiness and add some if needed. Serve soup with more limes and some Queso Fresco cheese. Enjoy!