Turkey Albondigas Soup

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
35 min
45 min

6 servings

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bunches cilantro, leaves only
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken, preferably dark meat
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large leek, trimmed, washed and thinly julienned
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 head white cabbage, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and thinly julienned
  • 3 medium Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar

Combine the olive oil, garlic, cilantro and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper in a blender. Puree until smooth.

In a large bowl, mix together the turkey or chicken, egg and cilantro paste. Add the bread crumbs and mix only until combined. Roll into small walnut-sized meatballs in the palms of your hands and place on a tray in the refrigerator.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large stockpot over high heat. Saute the leeks and carrots with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper for 2 to 4 minutes. Add the cabbage, jalapenos and tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are limp, about 3 minutes longer. Pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. Add the chilled meatballs in batches, shaking the pan to prevent sticking, and brown on all sides. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

When all the meatballs are browned, transfer to the simmering stock and cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and serve hot.


For a heartier dish, add a handful or two of rice or small-shaped pasta along with the stock

View All

Cooking Tips
More Recipes and Ideas
4.4 23
I've never had a clunker whenever I made a recipe by Susan Feniger and Sue Millikin. With this one, the amount of cilantro not only made the meatballs inedible, the meatballs broke up in the soup, the cilantro spoiling everything. AND I LOVE CILANTRO!!! Sorry. This one's pretty gruesome. item not reviewed by moderator and published
delicious. you can substitute beef for turkey, and throw in some habaneros if you like a little more heat! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used one bunch of cilantro and used the prepackaged plain bread crumbs from the store baking isle and used the measurement on the recipe. I used 2 pepers and left in the seeds because we like heat. Both my husband and I loved loved this recipe. It was definitely spicy. We loved the vinegar but I could envision someone only putting in one or two tablespoons. I will make this again and again and will only adjust the pepper seeds for company. This is the best albondigas I have had and different than anything out there. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The albondigas were green after one bunch of cilantro. I can imagine how they would have looked after two. Once added to the soup, the green disappeared but they tasted horrible. Too much cilantro, too much garlic. What is the point of following a recipe if the portions are not correct. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great recipe with a few tweeks. I used only one bunch of cilantro and 3 garlic cloves in the meatballs -- it would have been way too strong otherwise. I didn't brown the meatballs but simmered them when I added the second vegetables, and I added a cubed zucchini then too. Since I just used boxed (altho high quality chicken broth it lacked flavor, so I added a teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of chili powder. The ground turkey meatballs were surprisingly good. This is a real keeper for us. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Everyone loved it. If you want it hot - you may need more peppers. The ones I purcahsed were very mild. One of my favorite things about it - everything was fresh - nothing from a package (well, other than the broth/stock. I prefer to have fresh food. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved it! It was so flavorful. The meatballs were spectacular. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved it. I used turkey meat and I also used zuchinni and celery instead of carrots and leaks. Because I didn't have leaks and I dislike carrots. Also, instead of using fresh tomatoes I used diced canned ones. Loved it. Kept it simple. It was delicious.I cut up some lemon and also squeezed a little bit into the individual bowls of soup to give it that extra flavor. The meatballs were my favorite. I also used chicken broth and vegetable broth because that is all I had. The broth was so good as well. This is my favorite albondigas recipe so far. So much better with the turkey instead of the beef. It felt much lighter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is absolutely delicious. I used ground chicken instead of turkey because that was the first thing I found plus I used 4 jalapenos which made the soup spicer. Mmmmm...I love me some spicy foods. I didn't pan fry my meatballs instead I put them straight into the soup & simmered for 30minutes. The meatballs came out super moist & tasty. Personally I think it could use more leeks & cabbage. I will add more of those veggies next time around. Thanks for an awesome recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
First off, it's rated as "easy", but it's fairly labor intensive. I agree with another reviewer that 2 bunches of cilantro really seemed like a lot. I kept it to one and it still made a dense, beautiful pesto-like paste that was more than enought to flavor 1 pound of ground meat. Also, chilling the albondigas mixture several hours or overnight before rolling the meatballs helps make that process easier and, possibly, the meatballs more flavorful. This was really phenomenal. You could use more carrots than are called for. I added the end of a bag of orzo...about 2/3 cup, just tossed it in with the broth to add a little substance. It worked. Overall, it's spot on delicious. Healthy, delicious comfort food. item not reviewed by moderator and published
making these little albondigas was so fun, and easy too! this soup is so healthy and good, i love it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have a restaurant near me that serves amazing albondigas, so I'm going to be very hard on this recipe. First of all, I think it's missing cumin somewhere, either in the meatballs, the broth or both. There was nothing mexican tasting about this at all. I'm not a big fan of the flavor of cilantro and felt that there was too much in the meatballs. When it calls for "2 bunches" who decides how big the bunches are? My grocery store seemed to have very large bunches. I didn't put in the entire amount and it still seemed strong to me. I would definitely add a couple more carrots, some potato and even celery. The cabbage is good, but it's just sort of stringy which is not what I know as albondigas. I also used pork broth because I had it on hand, and that was really good. I wasn't sure if I should use 1 or 2 jalapenos, so I just used one. I would definitely use 2 next time, I couldn't even taste it. Having said that, I'm going to look for a different recipe. This one just didn't cut it for me, but it was not inedible. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious... I wondered about the vinegar, but the vinegar flavor dissipates after sitting a bit. I used seasoned rice vinegar. I used more garlic and roasted it before blending with cilantro. Added celery, but the soup could use more vegetables if you want it a little more hearty. I did add about 3/4 cup leftover brown rice. I made a double batch and am glad I have leftovers for today. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This one's a keeper! Made this with my daughter. (She helped roll all the meatballs.) Excellent flavor. Made the recipe exactly as stated. Perfect! I don't see the need to modify the recipe at all. (If you don't like a little kick to your food, leave the jalapeno out--but I wouldn't dream of it!) Loved everything about it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The soup was great! So great that I didn't have leftovers. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Soooooooo good. Don't even think about not adding the vinegar or skimping on the jalapeno. Delicious just the way it is. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This soup was incredible. I served it for dinner. I had a few people over and they tried the soup and all couldn't stop talking about how good the soup was. The best part for me was seeing my husband enjoy his meal with a smile of satisfaction. He told me 3x how good it was. I know I will continue to make this soup. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a very tasty soup. Will keep this recipe and make over and over again!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The soup is great especially on a cold night! item not reviewed by moderator and published
First of all, I didn?t have cabbage on hand ? I guess the sweet flavor of cabbage could have been good. Unlike me, my husband liked the broth more than meatballs. I thought that the broth was a bit too flat. We both thought that the flavor could have been improved if the veggies were shredded instead and then sauteed for a longer period time. Leek does not taste great when it is cut large. I added slightly more water and I would have still preferred a more watery soup. I left the soup on a stove for about 15 minutes longer ? the veggies were very mushy (which is fine for the tomatoes but not for the carrots.) I added only 1 jalape?o pepper but I didn?t remove the seeds ? next time I will add ?. If anyone tries any of my variations, let me know how they work out. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Everyone who tries this soup absolutely loves it. I've learned to pare down the garlic in the meatballs, as 1st try was a bit overwheling...but that was probably my fault for being generous. Either way, delicious and a great dish to introduce to you and your freinds. item not reviewed by moderator and published
sabroso! this took me back to a chlly night en casa con mi familia.... thanks! item not reviewed by moderator and published

Not what you're looking for? Try:

Turkey Meatloaves with Braised Cabbage

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen