Mexican Meatball Soup

Total Time:
55 min
15 min
40 min

6 to 8 servings

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 pound ground sirloin beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 carrot, cut into rounds (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 serrano chile, whole
  • 1 Yukon gold potato, skin on, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 zucchini, diced (about 1 cup)

In a heavy large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, mix together the onion, rice, cilantro, ground meat, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Using wet hands, shape the meat mixture into 20 to 22 (1-inch) meatballs.

Combine the carrots, serrano chile, potato, tomato paste, and vegetable stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the meatballs and zucchini and simmer on low heat until the meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper, to taste.

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    58 Reviews
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    I enjoyed the soup once it was done. What I don't understand is how uncooked long-grain rice was supposed to be done in 20 minutes? I ended up simmering this soup for about 1.5 hours. It made the flavor from the serrano chili really wonderful and in the end I really liked it but from my perspective this is more a 2 hour meal than a 40 minute meal.
    Marcela, Marcela. Where are the traditional chipotles, spearmint and garlic? I made this b/c my blender broke ( I always make it with the Mexican trinity ( tomato, onion, garlic in a blender) , so I saw this recipe that called for tomato paste and veggie broth and decided to take the chance. My family from Mexico City loved it, but instead of serrano I used 4 chipotles in adobo, instead of cilantro, I used parsley and dried spearmint, I added 3 cloves garlic to the onions. Added celery and chicken/tomato boullion powder. Next time, I will make a Mexican rice separately since it came out looking like polenta after being in liquid for so long.
    traditional Mex dish, each family has made this but by adding lots of love! My family did the meatballs (basic meat and cracker mix), onions and mint from the garden..........from there you add whatever you want ............BUT DON'T FORGET THE LOVE...........
    This was so delicious! I didn't have veg stock so I boiled the veggies first in hot water and I added diced mushrooms, and sprinkled diced onions and tomatoes into the water as well. once it started boiling for a good 5 minutes,I added the meatballs. I also added the cilantro later because I didn't have it when I started cooking. Reminded me of the traditional albondigas my tias and abuelita used to make!!! :)
    the basic taste of this soup was good. i wasn't impressed with the meatballs though. i'd prefer to make more traditional meatballs, using egg & breadcrumbs to keep them lighter, and add the rice directly to the soup.
    Fantastic! We used low sodium chicken stock instead of vegetable stock and turkey instead of beef for the meatbals and it was incredibly tasty!! Thank you Marcela!! So healthy as well...all the veggies...we added celery as well as zucchini and yellow Mexican zucchini. Easy to make and so delicious.
    I tried this yummy dish last night! Even the grumpy husband liked it, a lot. I used an Anahiem chili instead. I did throw in a 1/4 cup of Orzo also. This will be made again & again.  
    I will definately be trying more of her dishes!
    Wow, this was awesome, and so easy to make. We left the chile out (kids had to eat this too and added a cup of rice to the soup like a few others suggested. LOVED this!
    Watched it on the show, made it at home, awesome! Easy, quick and the kids even liked it and they usually just like the bland McD's! Thanks for this great recipe, will use many times!
    This was a simple, flavorful take on albondigas soup. I have made it several times and it is pretty foolproof.
    Instead of using cilantro my mother always made them with an herb called hiervabuena. Similar to mint and it gives it a different and more depth of flavor.
    I made this soup because of the 5 star reviews and decided (even though I thought it sounded extremely boring for mexican cuisinefollowed the recipe to the "T". DON'T BOTHER unless you really doctor it up. I guess you could use it as a "starter" and add seasoning to your taste. This was TERRIBLE alone. I must be missing something that 46 other reviewers raved about. I added to make it palitable: diced tomatoes in their juices, mexican oregano,half of a serrano chili diced with seeds, bay leaf, just a bit ground, chopped, very finely cilantro stems and beans, I used 1 can of butter beans because it's all I had on hand. And, salt and pepper. I served it with chopped scallions, avacado and lime wedges and warm flour tortillas. It was "not bad". but nothing to "write home about".
    Quick, simple, delicious ... a dinner I can make that the whole family actually loves!
    Great recipe! Would like to see Mexican Made easy on more often, it is an awesome show!
    This soup was AMAZING!!! Will definitely make again. Next time I will double the recipe so we can have leftovers :
    This was really good. my family requested that I add more veggies, such as chopped cabbage, squash and zuchs. Very good basic, flavorful albondigas recipe. it was a hit.
    Very easy and a great go-to recipe! I made exactly the first time, since then I have added corn and other flavors to my family's liking. Excellent soup!!
    This recipe is absolutely delicious! Super tasty and very easy, too. Have already made it twice and it will definitely be a staple dinner for us. Followed the recipe exactly and love it!!
    After trying many Mexican meatball soup reciepes this one is the best! My husband's parents are both from Mexico and he can be critical when it comes to authentic Mexican food and he loves this soup! We have this once a week in our household from fall to spring. Its easy to make and easy on the wallet! My search for an authentic Mexican soup reciepe that reminds me of my mothers & grandmothers is over!
    I decided to try this recipe since I been using my own family recipe for years (I'm mexican..I thought I'd try Marcela's recipe. Wow, it was great. My family and I enjoyed it very much and will now continue using this recipe. Thanks Marcela!! I'm definitely going to try out her other recipes.
    Meatballs stayed togeather, had lots of flavor. Husband loved.
    This was so good. I was looking for this recipe again and I am glad I found it. We enjoy your show!
    Thank you so much for this recipe. My family loved it. Even my 8yr old niece who runs from vegetables. I also added cumin and minced garlic to the meatballs. It was so delicious my mom actually got seconds.
    This recipe is great , I did however make a few changes ; added 1tsp of chili powder to 
    broth, chopped the serrano, added 1/2tsp cumin to the meatballs and one garlic clove to the onions as well as used 2 cans veggie 2 cans beef and 2 cans water. Thanks Marecla for the great base recipes :
    Delicious! Used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth, which I find bitter. Added 2 cloves of minced garlic to the onions when sauteing, and added 1 beaten egg and 1 tsp cumin to the meatballs.
    It was very good. Since a serrano chile may be too hot for my family, I substituted 1/2 cup green chile salsa. Added the perfect amt of spice.
    This is so yummy! I used ground chicken instead of beef, chicken broth, and squeezed a lime in it when it was cooking. My family loved it! Next time I'll make it more spicy.
    This was really GOOD! I did do a couple things different...I used turkey for the meatballs and added some red pepper flakes and cumin to them,used chicken stock, and 2 serranos instead of just one. Yummm....
    I love this recipe! I did a few changes to the meatballs though... added cumin, breadcrumbs, 1 egg, & did half pork, half beef. I also add a little rice like someone else recommended. This is a great recipe to build on and make your own!
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