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brothy vegetable soup with meatballs in a white bowl with lime wedges set around

Albóndigas Soup (Sopa de Albóndigas)

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 ¼ hours
  • Yield: 6 servings (13 cups) 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A tomato-infused broth is the base for this savory soup featuring tender, herby pork meatballs and tons of chunky vegetables. 



For the meatballs 

  • 1 pound 85% lean ground pork
  • ⅓ cup dry long grain white rice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint* 
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 large carrots, cut into ½-inch slices 
  • 8 cups low-sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes in juice (14.5 ounces)
  • 1 zucchini, cut into ¾ - 1-inch chunks 
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Optional toppings: avocado, jalapeño, lime


For the meatballs: 

Combine pork, rice, mint, parsley, oregano, garlic, egg, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using moist hands, form into 1-inch meatballs, about 1 tablespoons each. Transfer to a sheet pan and set aside. 

For the soup: 

Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium. Add onion and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes; season with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add tomato paste, garlic, oregano, and cumin; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until a fond forms on the bottom of the pot. 

Add carrots and stir to coat. Deglaze with 2 cups water, scraping up browned bits. Add broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium and simmer 5 minutes. 

Gently drop meatballs into soup one at a time, cover and let simmer 20 minutes. Gently stir in zucchini and continue to cook, covered, until meatballs are cooked through, rice in meatballs is tender, and zucchini is fork-tender, 5–10 minutes more. 

Off heat, stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lime wedges.



This soup is gluten-free and dairy-free. 

MINT: make sure the fresh mint you use is spearmint


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
  • Calories: 268
  • Sugar: 4.5g
  • Sodium: 1250mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Cholesterol: 87mg

Keywords: albondigas soup, sopa de albondigas, mexican meatball soup

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