Mexican Meatball Soup also known as albondigas soup, is a hearty, stick to your bones soup that’s perfect for a cold night. Loaded with flavorful meatballs, tender vegetables and a robust tomato and chile broth!
Thanks to my friends at Pacific Foods for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions are my own.
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve had snow here in Denver and it’s been glorious! Unfortunately, it looks like the snow will be returning this week and that means I’ve got soup planned for dinner. This Mexican Meatball Soup will be the perfect spicy comfort food to cozy up with!
Mexican Meatball Soup is a classic Mexican soup often referred to as albondigas soup. Albondigas means meatballs in Spanish. The tomatoey broth based soup has a bold chile flavor and often includes vegetables such as carrots, onion, potatoes, zucchini and celery. For my version I went with onion, zucchini and carrots.
What Do I Need to Make the Soup
- Corn tortillas
- Ground turkey or beef
- Chili powder, ground cumin, oregano
- Fire roasted tomatoes
- Chipotle chile in adobo sauce
- Pacific Foods Organic Low Sodium Beef Broth
Making the soup requires a few steps, but I assure you they are worth it and necessary to get the most flavor. The first ingredient you’ll be working with, which may seem odd, is corn tortillas. These will act as both a binder for the meatballs and a thickening agent for the broth. It’s a great way to keep the soup gluten-free and infuse a deep corn flavor into the broth.
For the meatballs I used lean ground turkey (90/10), but if you prefer to use lean ground beef that will work great. The meatballs are probably my favorite part of the soup. One because I absolutely love meatballs and two because these meatballs are packed with flavor.
They’re seasoned with ground cumin, chili powder, oregano and garlic. The corn tortillas which you’ll pulse into crumbs using a food processor add corn flavor and keep the meatballs tender.
Do I Need to Cook the Meatballs Before Adding Them to the Soup?
No. Once you form the meatballs keep them in the fridge until you’ve made the broth. Once the broth is ready, you’ll add in the vegetables, remaining corn tortilla crumbs and drop in the raw meatballs. The meatballs won’t fall apart because you’ve bind them together with the tortilla crumbs and egg. They’ll cook in the broth for about 15 minutes and be perfectly tender when it’s time to serve the soup.
As I mentioned above the broth for the soup is bold with chile flavor. To get that intense flavor, you’ll add the fire roasted tomatoes, chipotle chile in adobo sauce, garlic, onion, lots of chili powder, cumin and oregano to the bowl of a food processor. Process the mixture until it’s smooth and then cook it down in a dutch oven or large pot. Doing this intensifies the flavor and takes out any raw flavor.
For the broth portion of the soup you’ll use Pacific Foods Organic Low Sodium Beef Broth. Pacific Foods’ broth are the only ones I buy. The flavor and quality is superior to any other boxed or canned broths I’ve tried. I think a lot of times we forget how important it is that the broth we use be as high of quality as the meat we eat.
Can I Use Chicken Broth Instead of Beef Broth?
If you don’t eat red meat you can absolutely substitute with chicken broth. I highly recommend using Pacific Foods Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth. I’ve used it in all of my chicken or turkey based soup recipes including this Tuscan Chicken Tortellini Soup and have had wonderful results.
Tips to Ensure Your Vegetables Don’t Overcook
- Cut the carrots and zucchini into larger chunks similar to what you find in stew. I cut the carrots into approximately 1/2 inch pieces and the zucchini into half moons that were slightly thicker.
- Make sure they are all cut as close to the same size as possible.
- The vegetables will be added to the soup during the last 15 minutes of cooking. If you add them sooner you’ll run the risk of them being mushy.
To serve the Mexican Meatball Soup, ladle it into bowls making sure each bowl has a generous amount of meatballs. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and garnish with chopped cilantro. This hearty Mexican soup will not only fill you up, but warm you up on the coldest of nights!
- 4 corn tortillas, torn up
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 egg
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound lean ground turkey or beef
- 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, cut into large chunks
- 1 jalapeño, seeds and vein removed and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 7 cups Pacific Foods Organic Low Sodium Beef Broth
- 2 cups chopped carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups chopped zucchini, cut into at least 1/2 inch pieces or slightly larger
- Lime wedges, chopped cilantro and avocado slices for serving (optional)
- In the bowl of a food processor add the torn up corn tortillas and pulse until they’re the size of crumbs. Set aside a 1/2 cup of the crumbs for the soup and pour the remaining into a large bowl.
- Add the remaining meatball ingredients to the bowl and gently mix together with your hands being careful not to over-mix. Use a tablespoon or tablespoon size cookie scoop to scoop out the meat mixture. Roll into balls and transfer to a plate. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Wipe out the bowl of the food processor and add in the fire roasted tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, garlic, chipotle, spices, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth.
- Heat the tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Pour the tomato mixture into the pot and cook for 10-12 minutes stirring occasionally. The mixture will get darker in color and be starting to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the beef broth, carrots, zucchini and remaining corn tortilla crumbs. Gently drop in the meatballs and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to medium and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve the soup topped with chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice and sliced avocado if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 1316mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 8gSugar: 7gProtein: 38g