October 9, 2015 § 62 Comments
Isn’t it wonderful to have a pot of soup simmering on the stove on an overcast day? We’ve had our share of overcast days here in Seattle lately and what’s better than a tasty bowl of albóndigas soup!
What I love most about albondigas soup is the texture of the moist and tender meatballs. The meatballs are packed with spices, mint, rice and zucchini. The rice grains cook inside the meatballs and puff up as they simmer, which creates a lovely tender, moist texture. This is a pleasantly mild soup, so if you are in the mood for spicy, you may add a few sliced jalapeños to the simmering sauce.
I n g r e d i e n t s
- 1/2 cup long white rice
- boiling water – enough to cover 1/2 cup rice
- 1 -1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
- 2 small zucchini squash, finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
- 3 sprigs of fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 8 peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/3 onion, chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes (about 3/4 pound)
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
- Boiling water to cover tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- Avocado, fresh cilantro, lime wedges (for garnish)
Cover the rice well with boiling water and let it soak for about 45 minutes. Trim the zucchini and chop them very finely. Combine the squash, chopped onion and beef to a medium size bowl. Blend the eggs with the herbs and spices until smooth. Mix well with the beef and zucchini. Add salt. Drain the rice and add it to the mixture. Make 24 meat balls, each about 1-1/2 inch in diameter, or any size of your preference and set aside.
Pour the boiling water over the tomatoes and allow them to sit for 5 minutes. Peel the skins off of the tomatoes, place them into the blender along with the chopped garlic and blend until almost smooth.
Heat the oil and cook the onion gently, until soft. Add the tomato puree, bring it to boil, and let it cook for about 3 minutes. Add the broth to the tomato sauce and lower to a simmer.
Add the meatballs, cover the pan, and simmer for approximately one hour and 30 minutes. Serve in deep bowls with plenty of sauce. Garnish with fresh cilantro, avocado and a squeeze of lime.
This looks like a delicious and comforting soup.
Thank you Jovina. Really is a delicious soup.
I just pinned this. Not only does this soup look delicious (and good for you) but your photos are excellent. And I know how hard it can be to photograph something like soup.
Thank you so much Cecile! What a lovely comment. Odd though…although I received your comment it is not showing up on my blog post! You are right, soup can be very shiny and hard to photograph. :) Thank you for pinning.
It is odd that my comment didn’t show up on your blog post… I hope it DOES show up!
It finally did show up! Thank you!
I want that soup now Seana, I have saved this recipe onto evernote it is such a wonderful soup. The flavors I know just pop, wonderful!!
Thank you so much Suzanne! Hope you get a chance to make it, you’ll love it.
full of lovely flavors! I love this soup!
I’m such a meatball fan and these were fantastic simmered in broth. You are right, the flavors are lovely. The rice was brilliant in the meatballs, some of it spread into the soup.
Yes that would be amazing!! so nice to see you and I pinned these all yumm
Wonderful opening shot of what promises to be a delicious soup. Would love to have a whiff of your kitchen when there’s a pot of this soup simmering. Mmmm …
So nice to hear from you John! Actually it was great to see your post the other day, it’s been quite some time! Thank you so much for stopping by and saying “hi”!
Seana, I have added this to my “to make” list! I do love all your recipes, and I am a HUGE soup fan! We hit 84 degrees today here in Central Oregon. Crazy, right? But we’ll probably have snow next week for all I know.
Kathryn…than you so much! Can’t believe it’s so hot in Central Oregon still! We have two sets of friends who just move from Seattle to Bend in the past two months. I imagine your weather can be unpredictable, whereas here in Seattle it’s very steady. Must say I’m enjoying the 65°F temperatures! :)
Seana, if you ever come visit your friends here I’d love to hook up with you! We could do some cooking together for a lunch or something!
Wouldn’t that be a blast! :) I’ll definitely let you know if we do…
Hi Seana, we are back in Phoenix had a really dry summer in Yachats. Love cloudy days and pots of soup. I have never made this type of soup before, pinning for later. Take care!
Dry summer here in Seattle too…actually we had a longer stretch of summer which was great for the tomatoes. I’m still pulling them off the vine even though our highs have only reached 70° at the most. They’re great for roasting! Lovely to see you here tonight! :)
Oh yum, lerrrrve a good meatball soup! Have never heard of albóndigas but it sounds like our kind of meal. We’re still completely obsessed with Mexican food after our trip, so I’m definitely going to give this a crack!
Hi Sas! All I have to say is if you love meatball soup and obsessed with Mexican food this is definitely going to be a hit! You’ll love the broth. Most of the recipes I saw online used pork and beef for the meatballs, I just used beef. I imagine the pork would add a healthy dose of fat (or is it “un” healthy?) which would add to the flavor. Either way it’s a fabulous soup and I hope you find a chance to try it! :)
Oh my… Seana, your description of the flavours in this soup has me yearning for a bowl right here and now. It looks SO good!
Thank you Margot! It’s one of those filling, but also light brothy soups, which I love! And the meatballs are well seasoned and tender, you just can’t stop eating them. :)
This is new for me too Seana, but I loooove the sound of the meatballs with rice and zucchini in the tomatoey broth. It will be a while before I get soup weather again, but I’ve saved the recipe in anticipation.
Yes, I can imagine soup isn’t high on you list right now Sandra. I do like the sound of warm weather food though. :)
Since I saw your soup recipe I’ve been thinking about the style of food in correlation to climate. The Thai people eat lots of thin but aromatic soups. I think I’ll try your recipe sooner than I originally thought!
Seana, a spicy meatball soup – perfect for this murky weather. Must have some now. Nicole
I love the description “murky”. That is exactly what we are experiencing today. Bog comes into mind too. We’ve had crazy rain this morning. Perfect soup conditions. Thanks Nicole!
Hi Seana– love, love the look of this soup! All those beautiful greens on top and it seems light and warming at the same time– Sadly for us it’s was 104 degrees here yesterday! in October! So I’m am tucking this recipe away for the first chilly weekend here. It looks like something we’d love. thanks.
I can’t believe it was 104 yesterday! That is outrageous Rhonda! Will you ever have a chilly weekend? SoCal seems to resemble Death Valley! Guess you are sticking to watermelon and corn on the cob! :)
We are a ways from Death Valley Seana– but I’m beginning to wonder…
This sounds like a delicious soup…the weather doesn’t even have to be cool to entice me to enjoy a bowl of it.
I with you Karen. I enjoy a bowl of soup anytime of the year! Doesn’t have to be cool and cloudy for a bowl of albóndigas soup. it’s that good. And I’m so glad to hear from you today! Hope you are settling into your new home. :)
My pleasure and thank you.
Hi Arthur! Hope you are doing well. Thank you for saying hi!
Wow I’ve never had this type of soup before! Looks absolutely stunning :)
Thank you so much! It’s a wonderful Mexican soup, hope you give it a go sometime Sarah. :) Still dreaming about your bundt cake. I just have to make it!
Aww thanks you’re too sweet :)
Mwatball soup is awesome. Very nice work my friend!!
…or even “meatball” soup would’ve worked quite well there.
Lol! Made my day seeing your comment today! You’ve been one busy man…
Busy like the beaver 😜. I certainly miss not being able to see you folks so often…
Abondigas. Even the name is beautiful. Lovely looking soup.
Thank you Janet! I agree, Albondigas is a beautiful word. Once I say it out loud I find myself repeating it in my head. Thank you for your comment on the roasted tomatoes too. That comment made me smile. :)
I never heard of albondigas soup, is it Spanish? I like the idea of putting the rice in the meatball .
Hi Gerlinde! Yes, Albóndigas are meatballs prepared in the South American way. I have had several versions of this soup at Mexican restaurants and this is only the second time I have prepared it myself. It’s so delicious. Definitely try! :)
Ready for soup season and this one looks so flavorful and satisfying!
Me too! Over the weekend I prepared two different soups. My poor son said…”soup again?” But, thank goodness he always enjoys it!
I only have 1 son out of 3 who likes soup:-(
Wow! Looks perfect for a chilly afternoon! I’m putting this on my soup list!!
Yeah! For sure I can see Fig rolling little meatballs and lining them up on a platter. And it’s mild enough for little people. :)
That’s exactly what he would do!! I’m the only vegetarian in the house….the little folks and dad are not so this dish is perfect for them!
oh wait…aren’t you vegetarian Kari?
It’s definitely soup season over here. And this sounds delicious. Never knew that about adding soaked rice to the meatballs. That’s bound to help soak up all the juices (as they cook) and keep the meatballs moist. Will have to remember that. I use ground rice in vege burgers and stuff. Not quite the same effect, but along the same lines. It’s too fine to really soak up any flavours though.
Oh, and I love your fabric squares you’ve used. And your soup looks really well dressed, too. That can be really difficult!
Soup season here too! Matter of fact I made soup 3 times in the past 7 days. I think we may live in very similar climates. I imagine adding ground rice to vege burgers would help to keep the ingredients together, great idea! Wonder why you were getting the ‘page not found’ prompt…The last two posts went out a little odd. I had to edit the publish date and time after I published the post. Odd. It posted with a date a few weeks earlier which put the post way down on the reader list! eek!
Clearly it’s time to get to know this soup better. I love discovering new specialties!
I have tried this soup once at a Mexican restaurant and it was delicious! Now that it’s getting cold, it’s the best time to try out this recipe! Thanks for sharing :)
Thank you for visiting Mary Frances! I’ve had albóndigas soup at Mexican restaurants too and always so pleased. It was nice to put it together for the family. Hope you get a chance to make a pot for your’s. :)
Just seeing the photo and reading the list of the ingredients, I am in love with this soup. I have always been lover of meatballs. Yum!
One of my favorite soups! Pinning for later, of course!