“Albondigas” (Al-bon’-dee-gahz) is a Spanish for “meatball.” This unusual soup has spicy little meatballs floating in it—and it tastes wonderful! Serve with cheese burritos, as a refreshingly different starter.

Albondigas Soup

Albondigas Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soups and Stews
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6 servings
  • 3 Tablespoons corn oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 pound very lean ground beef (90%)
  • 3 Tablespoons yellow corn meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, chopped or
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 teaspoons pure ground New Mexico red chile
  • 3 Cups tomatoes, chopped (fresh* or canned)
  • 1 can (4 ounces) green chiles, chopped
  • 4 Cups chicken broth (canned or homemade)
  1. In a small saucepan or skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, and add 1/2 of the garlic and 1/4 of the cup of the onion. Stir and cook until softened.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, place the meat, corn meal, cilantro, mint, cumin, egg, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the red chile. Add the cooked onions and garlic, combine well and form into small meatballs (about the size of walnuts).
  3. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil, add the remaining garlic and onion, and cook until softened. Add the tomatoes, 1 tablespoon red chile, the green chiles and stir. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet, and brown the meatballs on all sides.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, drain off any grease, add the meatballs to the soup and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
  6. Serve in heated bowls with cheese burritos.
*If using fresh tomatoes, peel and seed before measuring.


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