Albondigas Soup (Mexican Meatball Soup)
How to make Albondigas Soup (Mexican Meatball Soup)
2 tbsp long grain rice
6 oz ground pork
6 oz ground beef
1 large egg
3 mint leaves
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 medium white onion
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup ground chicharron (fried pork rinds)
1/2 lb tomatoes rough chop
1/2 medium white onion rough chop
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
7 cups chicken broth or beef if desired
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups russet potato 1 peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large zucchini peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 jalapeño chiles leave stem on and make a slit from stem to bottom on each
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
2 tbsp mint leaves chopped
1. In a small bowl cover rice with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes.
2. Place 6 oz chicharron in food processor and pulse to crumb. Set aside.
3. To a large bowl add both ground meats or 12 oz of just one.
4. To a food processor add the egg, mint leaves, oregano, salt, pepper, cumin, onion and garlic. Process until smooth.
Add to the ground meat along with the drained rice and ground chicharron.
Blend thoroughly with spatula or hands.
Divide the meat into 18 meatballs and set aside on a platter.
5. To a food processor add the tomatoes, onion and garlic. Process until smooth.
To a soup pot or Dutch oven add the oil over medium heat.
Transfer the blended tomato mixture and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the chicken or beef broth, salt and bring to a simmer, cooking 5 more minutes.
6. Add the potatoes, carrots and cook another 8 minutes.
Add the zucchini, chiles, meatballs and cilantro and mint.
Cook covered over low heat for 20 minutes, and meatballs are cooked through and potatoes are fork tender.
YIELD: 6 SERVING SIZE: 1
Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 340 | TOTAL FAT: 18g | SATURATED FAT: 6g | TRANS FAT: 0g | CHOLESTEROL: 85mg | SODIUM: 1300mg | CARBOHYDRATES: 22g | FIBER: 4g | SUGAR: 5g | PROTEIN: 20g
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I use just one type of meat for the meatballs?
Yes, you can use only one type of ground meat if you prefer. The recipe suggests a blend of pork and beef for flavor and texture, but using only ground beef or ground pork would work just fine.
How do I know when the meatballs are fully cooked?
You can check the meatballs for doneness by cutting one open and making sure it’s no longer pink in the center.
The meatballs should also reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) using a food thermometer.
Can I cook the meatballs separately before adding them to the soup?
This recipe calls for cooking the meatballs directly in the soup, which allows them to absorb the flavors of the broth.
However, if you prefer, you could brown them in a pan before adding them to the soup.
What if I can’t find Mexican oregano?
If you can’t find Mexican oregano, you can substitute it with regular oregano. The flavor profile will be slightly different but still delicious.
Can I use another type of rice?
Long grain rice is used in this recipe because it holds its shape well in the soup. However, you could use medium grain rice if that’s what you have on hand.
I would not recommend using short grain or sticky rice as they might make the meatballs too dense.
What can I do if I want to reduce the sodium content of the soup?
You can reduce the sodium content by using low-sodium or homemade broth and reducing the amount of added salt.
Remember that the chicharron also contributes to the sodium content, so consider this when seasoning your soup.
What if I don’t have a food processor to blend the tomatoes, onion, and garlic?
If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the tomatoes, onion, and garlic with a knife. The soup might have a chunkier texture, but it will still be delicious.
Can I add other vegetables to this soup?
Absolutely! You can customize this soup with other vegetables you might have on hand. Just be mindful of the cooking times for different vegetables to ensure they are all cooked properly.
Can this soup be made in advance?
Absolutely! You can make this soup in advance and it actually gets better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. Just reheat gently before serving.
Can I freeze Albondigas Soup?
Yes, this soup freezes well. Cool the soup completely, then transfer to freezer-safe containers, leaving some space for the soup to expand as it freezes.
It can be frozen for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.