Originally introduced to Mexico from the Spanish, sopa de albondigas (meatball soup) is a hearty comfort food on cold nights, and especially when you’re feeling sick.
Patti Ennis, clinical nutrition program manager at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, loves this healthy and delicious soup because it is nutritionally well-rounded — loaded with vegetables, rice and lean meats — and filling.
Although it might be tempting to throw all of the vegetables in the pot at once, by adding each type at the specified times below, you’ll get perfectly cooked veggies.
Albondigas (Mexican Meatball) Soup
Use lean ground beef and ground turkey in place of lamb and pork for a lighter soup.
Yields 6 servings
10 cups water
1 tablespoon tomato bouillon
1 tablespoon beef or vegetable bouillon
1 bay leaf
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 pound lean or extra lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 small tomato, chopped
6 tablespoons rice, uncooked
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
2 cups cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, minced
2 celery ribs, chopped
10-ounce package frozen corn
In a large pot, combine water, tomato bouillon, vegetable or beef bouillon, bay leaf and half of the chopped onion. Bring to a boil.
In a bowl, combine meats, remaining onion, chopped tomato, 2 tablespoons of rice, oregano and pepper. Mix well and then form into 1-inch meatballs. Place the meatballs in the boiling broth and lower heat. Cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of rice and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Add carrots, zucchini, potato, cabbage, cilantro and celery. Cook over low heat for 25 minutes. Add corn and cook for 5 more minutes.
Garnish with cilantro if desired and serve immediately.