Meatball Soup Recipe / Receta de Sopa de Albóndigas

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I am updating the pictures on this Soup, it was published in April 2009.

Sopa de Albondigas is one of those comfort foods that brings back memories of my homeland. My mom always adds potatoes, carrots, chayotes, or some sort of vegetable into the tomato broth to make enough for a large family like ours. And it is a good way to get the kids to eat their veggies. The taste of mint in this dish is essential.
This recipe is adjusted from the book The Cuisines of Mexico by Mrs. Diana Kennedy, published in 1972. In her book the name of the recipe appears as: “Albondigas de Jalisco”, and as she has mentioned, every region has its own recipe and my guess is that everyone will say: "my mom’s albondiga's soup is the best".
This soup is great to have for the cold weather that seems like it will stick around here for a little longer. It will make you want to go back for a second plate, but refrain yourself from doing so and freeze some for later on. You’ll be glad you did!

En Español you can find a very similar recipe in Gusta Usted?, a cooking blog from my friend Nora in Mexico.
This recipe serves 6

  • 1/2 cup long white rice
  • Boiling water enough to cover the rice
  • 3/4 pound ground pork, finely grinded
  • 3/4 pound ground lean beef, finely grinded
  • 2 small zucchini squash (about 6 ounces)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 scant teaspoon oregano
  • 3 sprigs of fresh mint or 1 teaspoon powdered dried mint
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 scant teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 onion, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • Boiling water to cover tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut or safflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups of chicken broth

Note: Fresh mint optional to add to the soup at the end of the cooking process.
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1. Cover the rice well with boiling water and let it soak for about 45 minutes. Place the meats in a large bowl and mix well.
2. Trim the squash and chop them very finely. Add the squash and chopped onion to the meat.
Blend the eggs with the herbs and spices until smooth. Mix well into the meat. Add salt.
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3. Drain the rice and add it to the mixture. Make 24 meat balls, each about 1-1/2 inch in diameter, or any size of your preference.
4. Pour the boiling water over the tomatoes and cook it for about 5 minutes.Skin the tomatoes, place them into the blender along with the chopped garlic clove and blend until almost smooth.
5. Heat the oil and cook the onion gently, without browning, until soft.
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6. Add the tomato puree, bring it to boil, and let it cook fast for about 3 minutes. Add the broth to the tomato sauce and bring it to simmer.
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7. Add the meatballs, cover the pan, and let them simmer for about one hour and 15 minutes to one hour and 30 minutes. Serve in deep bowls with plenty of sauce.
If you want to make this soup a little spicy add some sliced jalapeños to the simmering sauce. Or add some canned chipotles to the blender with the tomatoes.
If you try it let me know how it turned out.
¡Buen provecho!


  1. MELY! Me había perdido esta receta! Voy a leerla con mas detenimiento. Gracias por poner el enlace a la mía. Mejor me la llevo de una vez, se que está buenísima, rica y deliciosa!

  2. I've been on the hunt for great soup recipes and this looks WONDERFUL. Thanks, Mely! (P.S. Glad to be back after a long hiatus; gracias por tu visita!)

  3. This is one of my favorite Mexican soups! I have found a "quick" method. Bottled chipotle salsa and beef broth for the soup. I also add the rice raw, since it cooks in the broth along with the meat. My Mexico City mother in law also taught me to push a small leaf of yerba buena into the center of the meat ball. Provecho!

  4. Delish with chipotle added gives it a great smokey flavor

  5. I'm trying this recipe mondaynite and I like the idea of beef broth and uncooked rice since time is not a luxury! Wish me luck

    1. Hello Linda,

      I hope you enjoy it as much as we do at home.


  6. QUIERO ALBÓNDIGAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Qué ricas se me volvieron a antojar!

  7. Even though it's supposed to be "spring" here in New Hampshire, it definitely does not look like it. We are crazy for meatballs here and anything Mexican. This would be perfect to warm me up. It looks delicious, Mely!

  8. I am going to give this recipe a try, II have made albondigas before but the results were bland. I think yours has the right balance of spice, thank you for sharing!

  9. I made albondigas for dinner a few days ago. I wish I would had seen your recipe before I did. They look amazing! Next time...

  10. I have been searching for the real deal I hope this is it I love mexican albondigas soup from az

    1. Hello Sheryl, This recipe in particular is from the Jalisco Area. Most recipes do not call for zucchini.
      I hope you like it.

  11. Its in the pot! Thank you for the recipe :-)

  12. Dear Mely,
    Thank you for sharing this meatball recipe. I've made it twice and both my husband and I absolutely love it especially on gray, rainy days. It was sheer comfort food!

    1. Hello Jeannie,

      Thank you for trying the recipe, and for taking the time to come back and leave a comment. So happy to know you and your husband liked it.

  13. I will be making this tonight :)

  14. I made this with beef and added a jalapeno to the simmer sauce. I also broiled the raw meatballs so I could drain the fat, then simmered them in the soup when they were cooked through. Delicious! Thanks for putting your recipes online-- this isn't the first one I've tried :)

  15. Wonderful recipe! My family loved it all around! The mint made for a delicious twist!


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