Sopa de Albondigas – Meatball Soup Recipe

I recently received a new ceramic casserole as a gift and I immediately started thinking, what should I cook tonight for dinner?  Que se me antoja?  Y luego se me antojo una sopa de albondigas.  To my english readers, that means I suddenly craved a delicious meatball soup!  If you’re not familiar with this hearty mexican soup, then you’ve been missing out.  Albondiga soup always brings back childhood memories.  I remember I would come home from school on a rainy day and my mom would have our warm soup ready for us to enjoy.  Small, well seasoned meatballs with a touch of fresh mint.  This traditional soup is often found in the state of Jalisco and northern Mexico.  I’ve seen variations of Albondiga Soup that contain mixtures of rice or fideo.  But one thing is for sure that everyone never forgets is that squirt of fresh lime juice, the key to a delicious finished flavor.

Now for the Sopa de Albondigas Recipe that you’ve been waiting for:

Sopa de Albondigas – Meatball Soup Recipe (Makes 4 servings)

  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground dried bread crumbs or white rice.
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion plus 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon of pasilla chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups of canned fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup canned peeled diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican variety preferred), crumble it.
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges

1.  In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs (rice), onion, garlic, mint, chili powder, cumin, salt, and egg.  Form the meat into small meatballs, about quarter size.

2.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and cook the meatballs, turning frequently, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes.  Reserve off heat.

Martha Stewart Enameled Cast Iron, Available at

3.  Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the same pan over medium heat and cook the sliced onion until limp, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except the lime wedges.  Add the reserved meatballs back in the pan.  Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15-25 minutes.

Serve immediatly while it’s hot and for the final step, add that squirt of fresh lime juice, the key to a delicious finished flavor.  Que rrrriiiiico!

Additional Steps:  Now some people like their sopa spicy, you can always add a finely chopped jalapeno to the meatballs during step one.  You could also add 1/2 cup of white rice during step 3 to make it a hearty soup as well.

I’m sure there are more ways to making this delicious soup, as every region of Mexico makes it different.  Do you prefer your Sopa de Albondigas with rice, fideo or neither?

Share your version of Albondigas and tell us what memories does Sopa de Albondigas bring back to you?

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Categories: Soups