The temperatures are dropping and it’s time for a hearty Easy Albondigas Soup (Mexican meatball soup) to chase away the chills. This traditional Mexican meatball soup will warm you from the inside out and will quickly become a family favorite.
This time of year I want all kinds of soup. I’d like a bowl everyday, thank you very much! But I must say, this flavorful broth soup always does the trick. I love the fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, meatballs, and warm spices in this recipe, and it’s mild enough that the whole family enjoys it.
Soups are often best when you can whip them up easily, and this recipe is no different. Chop the veggies, roll the meatballs, and boil till all the flavors get to know each other well. Everyone will think you bought the soup from a Mexican restaurant.
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Why you should make this recipe
- You probably need a little more soup in your life.
- This yummy traditional Mexican soup is warm and delicious.
- Everyone will think you’re a professional after a sample of this tasty recipe.
- Vegetable, chicken, or beef broth – You can’t go wrong with any of these broth flavors, so pick your favorite.
- Water – If you prefer purified water, go for it! Otherwise tap water works great.
- Zucchini – This tasty vegetable is so perfect in this recipe, I simply can’t describe it in a single sentence.
- Medium potato – I recommend either a russet or gold potatoes for this recipe.
- Small carrot – This veggie give the soup a gorgeous texture and color.
- Spring onions – These mild onions add just the right amount of flavor and color to this recipe.
- Ground beef – I like really lean ground beef, but you can choose whatever variety you like best.
- Mild red chili – A mild chili give this recipe a kick of flavor without making it too spicy.
- Medium tomato – Select a nice red, juicy tomato.
- Tomato paste – Just a little bit of tomato paste gives your soup that delectable red color and punches up the tomato taste.
- Fresh cilantro – I like my cilantro as fresh as possible and put the whole bunch in this tasty dish.
- Mexican oregano leaves – This seasoning is so pretty in this recipe and gives it that authentic flavor you want.
- Garlic cloves – This recipe just wouldn’t be the same without some fresh garlic.
- Olive oil – Select your preferred olive oil to sauté those veggies in.
- Paprika – No Mexican recipe is complete without a dash of this little seasoning.
- Taco seasoning – Choose your favorite taco seasoning for this recipe, mild or spicy.
How to make Easy Albondigas Soup
Chop the veggies
Gather all the vegetables and oregano leaves. Using a sharp knife, peel and finely chop the onions and carrots and set them aside. Dice the potatoes and zucchini and set them aside. Then chop the Mexican oregano, cilantro, and garlic and set aside. Chop the mild chili and set aside.
Keep the veggies separated into the groupings mentioned above because you will be adding them at different times during the process.
Sauté and get that water boiling
Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Then add the onions and carrots and sauté until browned. These veggies will soften as you brown them and flavor the olive oil which will infuse your whole pot of soup with flavor.
Pour the water and broth into the pot right over those veggies and bring to a boil. Once the mix is boiling, remove it from the heat. Toss in those potatoes and zucchini you diced earlier and cook on low for about five to six minutes.
Make the flavorful meatballs
While the veggies are boiling, add the oregano, chopped cilantro, garlic, paprika, taco seasoning, and a little salt a pepper to the ground beef. Mix it all together in a large bowl till the seasonings and meat are well combined. Save some of the garlic and cilantro for serving.
Form the meatball mixture into one-inch balls. Carefully spoon the meatballs into the soup. Don’t want to burn those precious fingers. Continue cooking until the meatballs pop to the top of the soup and float.
Cut the tomato crosswise and place into the soup for a couple of minutes. Then transfer the tomato to a board and cool. Once cooled, peel it and dice it and toss it back into the soup. Then cook for another ten minutes.
When you’re done with all the cooking, and you’re home is no doubt smelling amazing, add the tomato paste and half the chopped chili. Top it off with a little salt and black pepper to taste.
Portion the cilantro leaves and chopped garlic you saved for this moment into each bowl. Then serve this gorgeous hot soup into those bowl and serve immediately. I also like to squeeze a little fresh lime juice on top.
Enjoy! And watch everyone else slurp down their soup and ask for seconds.
Tips for success
Prepare up front
I like to get all the veggies and herbs chopped right up front so I can make the meatballs while the veggies are boiling. This allows for more stress-free cooking!
Divide it into portions
If you’re going to freeze any leftovers or save this soup for the chilly days, then divide it into smaller portions to freeze. This allow you to heat only what you want to serve and keep the rest frozen and sealed tight. I like to portion this soup into freezer bags and label them with the date.
Use a cookie scoop
A cookie scoop is a fast, easy way to get your meatballs portioned out exactly how you want them. This will keep them uniform so they cook evenly.
- Chorizo – Use uncooked chorizo sausage instead of ground beef, or even have beef, half sausage. This will add a flavorful kick to your soup. Go as spicy as you want.
- Add more spice – I consider this soup pretty mild in spice, but you want to kick it up a notch add some spicier chilies or even a dash or red pepper.
- Add celery – Sometimes you just need more veggies. Adding celery to this soup is a great way to add a bit of crunch. Simply add chopped celery at the same time you add the carrots to soften them up a bit.
- Add green beans – Fresh green beans are also delicious in this soup. Add them at the same time you would add the zucchini, or in place of it.
- Ground turkey – I love replacing ground beef with ground turkey. You can cook it the exact same way as the ground beef.
Storage and Freezing
Storing – You can store any leftover albondigas soup in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Just make sure you use an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing any of the other flavors in your fridge.
Freezing – Once the soup has cooled, transfer to a freezer-safe, airtight container. Be sure to leave a little space at the top to allow the soup to expand. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Don’t forget to put label on the container with the date to make sure it stays fresh.
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Easy Albondigas Soup (Mexican Meatball Soup)
- 32 ounces vegetable, chicken or beef broth
- 2-2/12 cups water
- 1/3 cup sliced zucchini
- 1 medium potato
- 1 small carrot
- 1 bunch spring onions
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 mild red chili
- 1 medium tomato
- 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 small bunch cilantro
- 4 Mexican oregano leaves
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- Slice carrots with a shaped knife. Peel onion and chop finely. Pour oil into a thick-walled saucepan, heat it. Add the vegetables, fry until browned. Pour in water and broth. Boil. Take off heat.
- Dice the potatoes. Add the diced zucchini and potatoes to the pot. Cook for 5-6 minutes over low heat.
- Chop Mexican oregano, cilantro and garlic. Season with salt, spices and pepper. Add the herbs and ground beef then mix together
- Form meatballs about an inch in diameter. Spoon the meatballs into the soup. Continue cooking the soup until the meatballs float.
- Cut the tomato crosswise. Place the tomato in the soup for a couple minutes. Transfer the tomato to a board and cool. Peel and dice the vegetable and return it to the soup. Cook for 10 minutes.
- At the end of cooking, add the tomato paste and half of the chopped chili. Season the soup with salt to taste. Add a handful of herbs.
- Portion the cilantro leaves, chopped garlic and chili into each plate. Pour the hot soup onto plates and serve immediately.
Can I make this gluten free?
Absolutely! The two ingredients to look out for are the taco seasonings and the broth. If you’re using a pre-made taco seasoning, check the label for those sneaky ingredients. Most of them will tell you if they’re gluten free. Also, select a gluten free broth, soup base, or bouillon to use.
Is this soup spicy?
I consider this soup to be pretty mild, but you can make it even more mild by using sweet red peppers instead of chili peppers. And make sure you use a mild taco seasoning in those meatballs. Or use a blend of seasonings that doesn’t use chili powder.
Ways to enjoy
Make it a complete meal. Serve this recipe with sweet gluten free cornbread for another comforting flavor with this this soup. A virgin margarita on the rocks is also never a bad idea and keep the Mexican theme alive and tasting great.