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World's Best Meatball Soup (Albondigas)

Updated on January 31, 2012

An astonishing soup

You'll find lots of recipes for albondigas on the Web. I've made this soup many times, and believe the following version is the best (trial-and-error is always the best teacher in the kitchen.)

This soup is hearty, yet has a delicate flavor that I bet you'll crave in the way that we do.

It's easy to make -- this recipe will make 12 -- 14 servings. I always pack some in our lunches the following day, and put bags of it in the freezer (great for those evenings when you don't feel like cooking.) If you're cooking for a crowd, you won't have any leftovers.


The Ingredients

The ingredients are divided into two: the meatballs, and the soup base.


1 lb. lean ground beef (best if 85% or higher lean)

1 egg (raw)

3 tbsp. finely minced jalapenos (remove seeds if you don't like spicy)

1 green onion, minced

1/4 cup of mint, minced

1/3 cup of rice, uncooked

1 1/2 tsp. salt

black pepper, to taste

Soup base:

6 cups of chicken stock (use fat-free)

6 cups of water

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 can V-8 juice (8 oz.)

2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

1 pound small creamer potatoes

How To Make The Dish

First, make the meatballs: add all ingredients to a large bowl. Using your hands, *gently* mix till combined.

Roll the meatballs in your palms till they're the size of walnuts (approximately 1 1/4 inch around) and place on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

In a large soup pot, soften the onion with a little olive oil (approximately 2 tbsp.) for about 6 minutes on medium heat. Once the onions are softened, add in the minced garlic and cook till fragrant -- about 2 minutes.

Add in the chicken stock, the water, and the V-8. Bring the soup to a boil, then add in the creamer potatoes, the carrots. Carefully lower the meatballs into the soup and lower the heat to medium. Partially cover the soup with a lid, and boil gently for about 30 minutes.

Garnish with chopped cilantro, or sliced green onions and serve with warm flour (or corn) tortillas.


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    • Buster Bucks profile imageAUTHOR

      Buster Bucks 

      6 years ago from Sonoma County, California

      Hi Bill,

      Albondigas means "meatball" in Spanish. It has been a part of Spanish cuisine for more than 1,000 years. Food historians believe the dish was introduced tonthe Spanish by traders from the Middle East.

      If you decide to make it, don't leave out the mint! It's absolutely necessary for the marvelous flavor of these meatballs.

      Best regards,


    • Bill Yovino profile image

      Bill Yovino 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting recipe. What is the origin?


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