Don't let the name intimidate you. Albondigas soup is a rich, hearty meatball soup with a Mexican origin. This is a truly delicious dish and it is quite easy to assemble. The blend of meatballs, spices, and vegetables makes for an unforgettable meal.
To make this at home you will need:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cabbage, chopped
2 cups of baby carrots (I like to cut mine into halves)
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup uncooked rice
2 cups beef broth
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tspn crushed garlic
1/2 tspn dried cilantro seasoning (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
How to put it together:
In a medium bowl mix the ground beef, crushed garlic, bread crumbs, the uncooked rice, the egg, a few dashes of black pepper, and if you prefer, the dried cilantro. On a personal note, I love the smell of the dried cilantro and it adds both a pop of color and flavor to the meatballs. After mixing, roll meatballs by using about a tablespoon each of the ground beef mixture.
In a large pot, on medium heat, bring about four cups of water mixed with the two cups of beef broth to a boil. Drop the meatballs into the pot and allow to cook for about seven minutes. After the time has elapsed, reduce heat to simmer.
Stir, taking extra care to prevent breaking the meatballs into pieces.
Finally you can add the chopped cabbage. You may use only half of the cabbage if you wish. We love the cabbage, probably more than the meatballs, so I use the whole thing. It will look like a lot, but it cooks down. The trick is stirring the the soup to incorporate the cabbage without breaking up the meatballs. Just take your time.
Cover the pot and cook for about 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and give it a final stir. You can garnish with chopped cilantro (yummy!) or crunchy shredded cabbage. I must have a few lime wedges with mine. A bit of lime juice is the cherry on top. We like to eat our albondigas soup with pieces of crunchy tostadas instead of crackers, to give it an authentic taste.
This soup is both filling and satisfying. Bon appetit!