“Albondigas” is Spanish for “meat ball.” This soup is simple, rustic and incredibly satisfying. I often hear “I don’t like mint” when I share the ingredients for this soup. There’s such a small amount, it’s hardly identifiable. But it is absolutely necessary for the unique flavor. Try it just once!

2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-16 oz. can sliced stewed tomatoes, hand crushed
1/2 cup tomato sauce
6 14-16 oz. cans of stock, chicken, beef or a mix OR 3 quarts homemade
2 large carrots, sliced

Meat Balls:
1 lb ground beef
1/3 cup raw long grain white rice
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 lb. frozen French Cut or young green beans
1-1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
1 – 2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves


In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté until tender. Add broth, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and add carrots.
Meat Balls:
Mix rice, mint, salt and pepper into ground beef. Add the egg. Form beef into 1-inch balls. Turn the heat up on the broth, add the meatballs and watch closely – when the broth returns to a simmer, reduce heat enough to keep it simmering gently for about 25 minutes.
Add 1 teaspoon of the oregano. Adjust oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Turn up the heat and stir in frozen green beans and cook for about 3 minutes. Watch the pot carefully and reduce the heat if it begins to boil. We want the vegetables hot, but not overcooked. Add peas and cook about 2 minutes more. Turn off heat and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

Ladle this delicious soup into bowls and garnish with a generous pinch or two of cilantro.
Why the timing of the frozen vegetables is important: the frozen vegetables add a wonderfully fresh flavor to this soup. Over cooked, the soup is good, but looses the “fresh from the garden” essence. The fresh cilantro adds a great deal of freshness to the soup, too.
TIP: You want to hand crush (or feel through already crushed) tomatoes before adding to any dish. Many pieces can be the top of the tomato, which often has a tough spot where the stem was once joined. You want to pinch the soft flesh into your meal and discard the tough part. This ensures that the “mouth feel” of every bite is pleasurable!

Now and later: If you purchase (or prepare and freeze) enough broth and frozen vegetables for two batches and double the meat ball preparation, you can put up a second pot of soup for quick a home cooked meal at a later date.
Prepare the meat balls and freeze individually on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper. After about an hour in the freezer, transfer to a freezer bag or other container for storage. Now your prep work for a second pot is minimized.

*Magic: this recipe is exclusive to I Love You Recipes. It is from my personal, unpublished collection.

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One Response to “Magic* Albondigas Mexican Meatball Soup Recipe”

  1. [...] to lecturing me on the differences between parsley and cilantro, to the betterment of the wife’s Albondigas soup. Mommy and toddler beamed at me when we [...]

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