Sopa de albondigas (meatball soup)

Our neighbors traditionally exchange homemade gifts (e.g. cookies, jam) during Christmas. Two years ago, we got some sopa de albondigas, along with this recipe. We all loved it, but never got around to making it ourselves until last night. It took my wife and me only about 30 minutes to make, plus another 30 minutes to simmer. Simple, hearty, and delicious, this makes a great meal for cold wet weather such as we’ve been having the last few days.


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ¼ cup uncooked rice
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 20 oz beef broth
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (½ inch dice)
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced


  1. Combine egg, cilantro, salt, oregano, and pepper. Add the ground beef and uncooked rice, mix well.
  2. Form mixture into 1-inch meatballs, set aside.
  3. Saute the onions in hot oil for a few minutes.
  4. Add the minced garlic, continue sauteing for ~30 seconds.
  5. Add the water, broth, and tomato paste, bring to the boil.
  6. Add potatoes and carrots, simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Increase heat and add the meatballs a few at a time to the simmering soup.
  8. Return to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes, until meatballs and vegetables are done.

About Jim Vanderveen

I'm a bit of a Renaissance man, with far too many hobbies for my free time! But more important than any hobby is my family. My proudest accomplishment has been raising some great kids! And somehow convincing my wife to put up with me since 1988. ;)
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