Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 17, 2010 10:40 AM

ISO: Albondigas soup recipe

Hi All;

I love albondigas soup and would love any recipes you like. I've looked on the net and the recipes just don't seem right (maybe a West coast difference?). I really want my family to love the soup out of the gate as it seems dishes I need to experiment a bit more on never gain a following the way a 1st time winner does.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Strength in numbers, maybe we can get a bit more attention than last year when I posted! ;)

    4 Replies
    1. re: kattyeyes

      Hahaha, kattyeyes I am from the valley too, and that is exactly the flavor I'm looking for. My ex's mother use to make the best and I'm pretty sure there was no mint, but that was 20 years ago ;-} So maybe what I need to do is think of what type of ingredients the typical Valley Mom would have had access to for the flavor profile. Also I'm not sure if the restaurant version or her version would have used cooked or uncooked rice. Hopefully someone will have a recipe that comes close :-)

      1. re: just_M

        If you scroll down this, you'll come to another Kennedy recipe that has rice.

        1. re: c oliver

          I've made that recipe too and it's really good. The sauce is more a thicker consistency, not very soupy, tho' I'm sure you got thin it out to make it more soup-like.

          I actually prefer the sauce from this recipe with the meatballs from the recipe I posted below :-). Both are good meatballs and will work. They're are soft and flavorful, not hard flavorless rocks.

          1. re: c oliver

            That recipe looks great too and both sites look like they'd be fun to check out. Thanks

      2. What do you think meatball soup should be like? Where have you eaten this? Mexico, Spain, some Midwest Mexican-American restaurant? Your profile says you are in SW Oregon. Assuming you want a Mexican style soup, how familiar are you with Mexican ingredients and cooking?

        3 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          Although I have visited Mexico and lived in Spain I was never offered any albondigas there. I now live in Oregon but I am originally from Southern California (LA to San Diego) and also spent a few years in AZ. I am very familiar with Mexican ingredients and how to use them, and was fortunate enough to have some great people teach me methods both "authentic" and more Tex/AZ-Mex. I love it all!

          In this case however I'm looking for something CA-Mex. This soup is ubiquitous in SoCal. It has a light broth with carrot coins, some onion and occasionally celery. It also has what I then thought was bell pepper but could be poblano. The meatballs do have rice in them and are probably made of ground beef or a ground beef/pork mix, they are tender but not soft and most seem to have a bit of green probably cilantro but could be parsley. The meatballs are not flavorful enough to have chorizo in them. Like other Cal-Mex/Tijuana imports (Cesar salad & nachos) the soup is on the bland side but tasty and you can add heat at the table so everyone loves it. Hopefully there is a SoCalian out there who can fill in the blanks. I've never had it in AZ either now that I think of it ;-}

          1. re: just_M

            Sounds like enough to wing it. The meatballs are similar to Italian ones, except they use rice (either soaked or cooked) instead of soaked bread, and herbs may be things like cilantro, Mexican oregano and/or mint.

            Vegetables in relatively large pieces are common in Mexican soups. Sometimes they include large rounds of corn on the cob. If the vegetables aren't real soft they probably were added near serving time.

            The restaurant probably seasons their soup stock with Knorr or Maggi soup powder. That's sold in 'restaurant size' containers in the smallest Mexican groceries. I prefer the chicken-tomato flavor.

            1. re: paulj

              Thanks paulj; I think the soup powder may be the *key* ingredient I've been overlooking. I often forget MSG may be the missing something ;-> I'll have to check if our international isle has something, if not it will have to wait till our next trip to the city.

        2. I haven't fixed this recipe of Diana Kennedy but she's considered a good source:

          She has several in her book and they vary by region.

          1 Reply
          1. re: c oliver

            Thanks c oliver, looks like you saved me a trip to the library ;-) This recipe looks delicious. I'll have to give it a go maybe w/out pureeing the tomatoes. I think it would make the soup the wrong color.

          2. Go to your local library. See if they have "The Cuisine's of Mexico" by Diana Kennedy. She has 2 recipes for Albondigas in that book. You want the Albondigas de Jalisco recipe on pages 191/92. The ingredients are all easily sourced in the U.S. and there are no special techniques needed. These are not spicy, but you can serve chiles en escabeche along side for anyone who wants it spicier. As with most Diana Kennedy recipes, it is not a hard recipe at all, just a little time consuming. The recipe calls for a small amount of mint. I am not a big fan of mint and almost left it out the first time I made this recipe. Thankfully, I didn't. The mint is not overpowering but does add a bit of interest to the meatballs.

            The meatballs are really good and the recipe converts to a soup recipe pretty easily by just adding more broth than what the recipe calls for. Because the Sopa de Albondigas I've alway eaten had julienned carrots, zucchini and onion in it, I add that to the pot towards the end of the cooking time.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DiningDiva

              Thanks Dining Diva, I really need to check that book out and give it a long hard try, I've heard/read such good things about Diana Kennedy books. Looks like I'll be going to the library after all :-)

              The chiles en escabeche that you mention I'm sure will be the perfect accompaniment for those of us who like to spice it up individually. The mint is not an ingredient I would have thought of but since you say so I'll give it a go.

            2. I enjoyed this recipe for Poblano Albodingas with Ancho Chile Soup:
              However, I have nothing else to compare it to as I haven't made any other versions of albodingas soup.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MichaelBeyer

                Thanks - the soup looks delicious and the meatballs very flavorful. Looks a bit like albondigas meets tortilla soup. I'll have to try it as an alternative :-)