Friday, October 25, 2013

My Cooking Attempts: Sopa de Albóndigas

I grew up eating warm bowls of albóndigas for dinner. I would so look forward to the cold weather because I knew my mom would soon be making albóndigas.

Funnily I never knew albóndigas meant meatballs. I just thought that was the name of the soup, like menudo or pozole. However, albóndigas specifically refers to the meatballs, not necessarily the soup. Weird, right? Once I asked a friend for her albóndiga recipe and she gave me the recipe for meatballs and nothing more. When I asked her for the rest of the recipe she said "Oh, you mean sopa de albóndigas?" Confused? Yeah, so was I! Don't despair! If you say I'm eating albóndigas most people (my friend excluded) will understand you mean the soup. Just in case you're still confused, this recipe is for meatball soup, not just meatballs!

1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb ground beef
1 egg
2 green onion
1/2 bunch mint
1/4 cup rice
1/2 tomato
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

1/2 brown onion
1 tomato
7 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
2 carrots
2 cups of diced potatoes
1 zucchini
2 celery stalks
Salt to taste

Start with the rice: Rinse the rice and soak for 30 minutes. Just enough time to prepare your other ingredients.

Dice your brown onion and tomato. Add a little oil to a soup pot, medium heat. Add onion and tomato. Cook down for a few minutes.
Add water and chicken broth. Season with salt. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile prepare your meatballs:

Finely dice the green onion and mint. Seed the tomato and finely dice.
Note: If the dice is too large the meatballs will fall apart. So, although it may seem like a bother, finely dice the veggies! It's an important step.
Drain the water from the rice. Add the veggies into a large mixing bowl with the rice, ground pork and beef, egg, and seasonings. Mix all the ingredients together, don't over mix. Form into balls.

I tend for smaller meatballs. They cook more evenly and are less likely to fall apart. Also, they don't feel overwhelming in your soup bowl. I don't want you to experience this:


Once the water is boiling, lower to medium heat and gently drop the meatballs into the broth. Allow to simmer about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile prep your other veggies:

Peel and evenly slice your carrots into bite-sized rounds. I don't peel my potato, but feel free to. Chop the potato, zucchini, and celery into even, bite-size pieces.

Once the meatballs have cooked for about 30 minutes add the veggies. First add the potatoes and carrots. Allow to cook about 10 minutes. Next add the celery and zucchini. Allow to simmer about 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adjust accordingly.
It makes a big ol' pot of soup!


My mom always serves our sopa de albóndigas with a side of slightly charred corn tortillas and some Tapatio. I skip the tortillas and enjoy as is.


  1. So, do you start with cooked or uncooked rice?

    1. Uncooked rice. It will cook as the meatball cooks.