Albondigas soup

Albondigas means “meatball” in the Spanish language and this soup is one of many South of the Border classics that makes a festive meal in a bowl. The meatballs can be made from any kind of ground protein – beef or pork are more traditional, but I like to keep it a little more healthy by using ground turkey.


The Balls

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 C cooked rice (cooked only halfway through)

Cilantro, chopped

Parsley, chopped

1T dried oregano

1T, chili powder

1T garlic salt

1T cumin



1 onion, chopped

3 carrots, chopped into circles

4 celery stalks, roughly diced

6 C chicken broth

2 cilantro stalks (not chopped)

1 C pasta shells, cooked separately

The Soup

In a Dutch oven, parboil the rice by basically cooking it halfway before doneness. Remove and let cool.

Combine all elements for the balls in a bowl and roll into golf ball-sized shapes and set on a sheet of plastic wrap.

Drain the pot and add some olive oil and heat. Drop in the onions, carrots and celery and cook until softened, about 7 minutes.

Add the broth and cilantro stems. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes.

In a separate pot, make the pasta shells until perfectly done, then drain and set aside.

Drop the balls into the simmered broth, cover and simmer for a good 10 minutes. Check for doneness and if they taste right, you’re ready to go.

In a deep bowl, drop the cooked pasta into the bottom. Now pour over the brother and add a few balls and lots of veges per person. A cold margarita on the side wouldn’t hurt.