Albondigas Soup

Growing up in a Mexican household, many of us ate albondigas on a regular basis. It was definitely a staple in my home. This albondigas recipe is a hybrid between my mom’s recipe and my own. Don’t freak out if you don’t have an ingredient or two—feel free to substitute and experiment. This recipe is also a great one to do with kids; my 5-year-old loves to get his hands dirty mixing and rolling the albondigas with mom. 

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Yields: 4 servings
For Meatballs
1 1/2 lb.

ground beef

1 tsp.

sea salt

1/2 tsp.

black pepper 

1/2 tsp.

ground cumin

1/2 tsp.

garlic powder


shallot, finely chopped

3 tbsp.

fresh parsley, finely chopped

3 tbsp.

fresh mint, finely chopped


large egg, beaten 

1/2 c.

panko bread crumbs

2 tbsp.

Grapeseed or other neutral oil 

For Sauce and Serving

tomatoes. quartered




cloves garlic

2 c.

low-sodium vegetable stock


sprig fresh parsley  


serrano chilies (optional)

Black beans, pickled jalapeños, and warm tortillas, for serving

  1. Combine all meatball ingredients (minus grapeseed oil) in a mixing bowl and knead gently to combine. Roll into small meatballs, about 1" in diameter. Set aside. 
  2. Heat broiler. Broil tomatoes, onions, and garlic, turning once, until charred but not burned, 10 minutes. 
  3. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, heat grapeseed oil. Add meatballs and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Carefully remove meatballs and set aside. Discard any excess oil. Add blended tomato sauce to the same pan, along with the vegetable stock, parsley sprig, and serrano. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add meatballs to the pot and cook, covered, about 15 minutes.  
  5. Serve hot with black beans, canned pickled jalapeños, and tortillas. 

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Chelsea Lupkin

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