Abuelita's Albondigas Soup


(Grandma's Meatball Soup)

We had this soup on a cruise once and thought it was unusual and delicious. We've been experimenting to find the flavors and textures we like. This is the culmination of several tries. Hopefully, you can get the kids to help make the meatballs! --Barb L.


1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup short-grain rice

2-3 Tbsp Flying Olive Cilantro and Roasted Onion, Garlic, or a Flying Olive Single Varietal of Choice Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

2 cups chopped sweet onion, divided

1/2 cup unflavored breadcrumbs

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided

1 tsp ground cumin

3/4 tsp salt, divided

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano , Mexican, if you have it

1/2 pound lean ground pork

1/2 pound ground sirloin

1 cup carrots, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 large russet potatoes, diced

1 cup chopped seeded peeled tomato (about 8 ounces) or 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomato

4-6 cups (1 32-ounce carton) fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth , divided

2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

2 cups chopped zucchini, diced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add rice and water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer. When done, set aside.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with 1 Tbsp Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Choice. Add 1/2 cup of the onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Cover a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Combine the cooked onion, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup cilantro, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, oregano, pork, and sirloin, stirring well (I use my absolutely clean hands to mix it together). Shape the mixture into about 50 (1-inch) meatballs and place on the foil lined sheet. Cook in the oven for about 13-15 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat with 1 Tbsp of Flying Olive EVOO of Choice. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups onion, carrots, garlic, and potatoes to the pan; sautÄ‚© 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomato, stirring to combine. Stir in 4 cups of broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add meatballs and mint to the pan. Simmer 10 more minutes. Add zucchini, rice, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper to the pan. Cook 10 minutes. Add more broth to get the consistency you like. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with remaining 1 /4 cup cilantro and serve!

Note: when you reheat this soup, it is usually very thick. You might want to add more broth to make it the consistency you like.

Submitted by Barb L.