Meatball Soup Recipe - Sopa de Albondigas

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This recipe and photos are courtesy of Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, TX. More of Cynthia's Southwest Recipes.

Sopa de Albondigas (Meatball Soup) is one of those soups can could also be called a stew. It can be served as a soup, with a rich broth for the meat and vegetables to almost “swim” in, or it can be “beefed” up to a stew-like dish, with loads of meatballs, carrots, squash, or other vegetables.

Soup in New Mexico and in Mexico comes in two forms, Sopa and Sopa Seca (dry soup). To say dry soup sounds like an oxymoron.  How can something like soup be dry? It isn’t that the soup is dry so much as it isn’t really a soup, but something more like a stew or even a casserole. It may be a dish that started out more like a soup, but the addition of multiple vegetables or meats makes it so hearty that it can only be considered a stew. The recipe here is one for the actual soup, not the sopa seca, but it can be easily changed to make this sopa a seca one.

Meatball Soup - Sopa de Albondigas

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Meatball Soup Recipe - Sopa de Albondigas:

Recipe Type: Soup, Beef, Pork, Rice, Tomato Salsa
Cuisine: Southwest, Mexican
Yields: 6 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 35 min


1 pound fresh ground beef
1 pound fresh ground pork
1 egg
1/3 cup uncooked rice
1 tablespoon finely-chopped yerba bueña (mint leaves may be substituted)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 quarts beef broth or stock
1 can (10.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
Corn Tortillas or Flour Tortillas or crackers
Fresh Tomato Salsa or Salsa Verde


In a large bowl, mix the ground beef and pork together. Add the egg, uncooked rice, and yerba bueña (mint); mixing it well. Make balls out of the meat mixture that are approximately 1 to 2 inches in diameter; set these to the side while you prepare the broth. This should make about 2 dozen (24) meatballs.

meat mixture

prepared meatballs


sopa broth

In a large soup pot or Cast iron Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.

Add the onion and sauté until clear. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute. Add the beef broth and the canned tomatoes to the soup pot and increase the heat so it comes to a full boil.



sopa meatballs


Carefully add the meatballs, 1 or 2 at a time to the boiling mixture. NOTE: You want to add them slowly enough that the broth is still boiling when you add more (this helps to keep the meatballs together by quickly cooking the outside of the meatball).

Once all the meatballs are added, reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Continue to cook for 30 minutes, without stirring. Remove from heat.





Serve with Corn Tortillas or Flour Tortillas or even crackers as a soup, and a good salsa of your choice to add a little spice to the dish.

Makes about 6 servings.




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