Albondigas Soup Recipe

albondigas-soup-pictureEthnic soups add much variety to the American diet, and this one is a staple in my home. In cold weather, this is an especially warming and satisfying soup. Albondigas in Spanish means meatballs. I think you will find this a great entrée soup when eaten with warm tortillas or garlic bread. This recipe is from my book, Gourmet the Simple Way. Upgrade the processed green chile to a green salsa, if you prefer.

Albondigas Turkey Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup mirepoix (2 parts onion, l part celery and l part carrots chopped in small dice)

1 Chile Poblano, roasted, peeled, deveined and chopped. (If you have a good green salsa, use a few tablespoons as a substitute).

1 tomato, chopped in ½ inch cubes

1 lb ground turkey

1 egg

¼ cup short or medium grain rice

2 teaspoons coriander powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

2 pinches of cinnamon

1 pinch of ground cloves

6 cups stock or 4 cups stock and 2 cups water

1 bunch of mint, well washed and tied in a bundle

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with quartered limes

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté onions, mirepoix and the chile over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When these vegetables are soft, add the tomato and then the stock.

  2. While the soup is coming to a simmer, combine the turkey, rice, eggs, salt and pepper, then form ground turkey balls l to l ½ inch in diameter. (They will be quite wet). Drop them into the simmering soup along with the entire bunch of mint.

  3. Simmer the soup 15 to 20 minutes and when the rice is cooked in the meatballs, remove the mint with tongs and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with garnish.


Poblano is sometimes referred to as a Pasilla Chile. It is green and shaped like a flattened bell pepper. It is both a little hot and sweet on the tongue.

◉ To roast this chile, place it on an open flame, or in a hot iron skillet, and roast it until it is charred completely. Then place it in a well-sealed, brown paper bag for a few minutes, where the steam will help lift the cellophane-like skin off the chile. Remove from the bag, cut in half horizontally, and remove the seedpod and stem. Place the halves on a board, skin side up and scrape off the charred skin with a serrated knife or a paper towel.

◉ To remove chili residue from your hands, rub them with any cooking oil, then wash them well with liquid kitchen detergent.

I know it seems like a great deal of mint in this soup but please use the entire bunch. Just discard the bunch before serving. I think you will be very pleased with the delicate flavor it lends.

Ground turkey meat is delicious in this soup and adds no fat, but please do not forget to salt and pepper the turkey meat well before making meatballs.

Be prepared to use less salt if commercial stock is used in the soup.

A small ice cream scoop facilitates making the turkey meatballs.

In this recipe, you have learned to process a fresh chile and to use and understand the proportions of a mirepoix.


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