Thursday, January 20, 2011

Albondigas Soup, New Mexico Meatball Soup

In this soup from New Mexico, jalapeño-spiked meatballs (Albóndigas) are cooked in a rich beef broth.  My version is very flavorful, but for a heartier soup, add some cubed potatoes and cook them with the meatballs.
Albóndigas Soup
(New Mexico Meatball Soup)

2 medium Eggs
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 ½ cups, chopped Onions
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1½ teaspoons ground Coriander
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 teaspoon dried Red Pepper flakes
½ cup Sweet Red Pepper, diced
½ cup Sweet Yellow Pepper, diced
8¼ cups fat free Beef Broth, no salt added
2 cups whole Plum Tomatoes with juice, no salt added
1 to 2 teaspoons seeded, minced, fresh Jalapeño Pepper
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
½ pound ground Beef, 95% lean
½ pound ground Pork
¼ cup raw Basmati Rice, white
½ teaspoon salt (optional)

Garnish with:
½ cup chopped Scallion, plus tops
½ cup Cilantro leaves, fresh
Avocado slices (optional)

1.       In an 8-quart soup or saucepan, add the ¼ cup beef broth, the onion, garlic, red and yellow peppers, ground cumin, and sauté stirring frequently, until the onion is golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. (By using the beef broth you have omitted the fat and calories you would have added by using a vegetable oil.  I use this method often when sautéing.)

2.       Add the remaining beef broth, tomatoes with their juice, dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of the coriander, ½ to 1 teaspoon of the jalapeño pepper, dried red pepper flakes, and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

3.       Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, rice, egg, sea salt, garlic powder, the remaining ½ teaspoon coriander, ½ to 1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.  Knead the ingredients together with your hands and then beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is well mixed.  Shape the meatballs by scooping up a tablespoon of the mixture and rolling them into balls.

4.       Drop the meatballs into the simmering soup and stir gently to separate them.  Partially cover and simmer the soup for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  There will be a lot of meatballs!  Makes 8 Servings, with approximately 5 meatballs per serving.

5.       Serve soup hot with a garnish of scallions, cilantro leaves and avocado slices, if desired.

This information has the optional sea salt in the sodium percentages, but not the Avocado.
Nutritional information provided by NutriMirror


  1. Ooh, Carla - this looks so good! I was just telling someone that I think I'm due for a little red meat soon - I eat it very rarely, so it's a treat when I do. This looks like just the special recips I need. It's so pretty.

  2. Carla, this really looks like something even I could make...and the hubby would enjoy!

  3. Susan, I think you will really like this. I have also used ground lamb before if that would suit you better, or ground turkey would be good too.

  4. Betty, I love this recipe. I think it is on my food log on January 14th. I made a double batch then and froze some for later. My husband loves it and I am sure yours would too.

  5. Like it even better that it freezes well!

  6. Made it tonight and it was so wonderful! We are going out of town tomorrow for the night and I cannot wait to get home on Sunday and have this waiting for us! I made spoon bread to go alongside and the two were a match made in heaven. I used turkey and it was great, but not as pretty as the beef/pork duo. Thanks Carla. I can't wait to try another of your recipes! I'm so excited to know you are here when my herbs star coming in!! :0)

  7. Susan, sorry for the delay in response. My email has been down and I am not getting updates on my blogs. I am so happy that you enjoyed this soup. I make it often, Tony and I both really like this one.

  8. I have been meaning to post; made this over the weekend...soooooo good. I did have a bit of a failed experiment--I used 1/2 venison 1/2 lamb and though the lamb was fatty, it was not nearly enough to bind the venison together well so about 1/2 of my meatballs exploded while they simmered away. I will say, though, that Joe very much dislikes meatballs and meatloaf and the use of rice instead of bread must've done the trick because he LOVED this. So much that he requested I pack it for his lunch today. Carla, thanks for the recipe--it's a keeper!

  9. Lynn, I thought you might try venison when you mentioned you were going to make this. Did you grind the meats together? Lamb can be very lean also so maybe you just needed to add a bit more of the fat. Glad to hear though that Joe loved it; I think it is really all about the broth myself. That is what I love about this soup, the flavors are wonderful.


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I love hearing from you.