Albondigas (Meatball) Soup

The forecast in Dallas calls for a 100% chance of rain, and I couldn’t be happier! Rainy weekends are the best since I can sleep in, stay in my pajamas and do nothing. Well, maybe not nothing…. cooking, running and reading blogs is what I’ll be doing!

If you’re waking up to a rainy day as well, what better way to enjoy the day than to make a large pot of albondigas (meatball) soup to enjoy for the next few days! My mom made this soup the day before yesterday, and simply heated it back for dinner last night. (It was also raining and the soup was a perfect way to warm us up).

As far as taste goes, we both enjoyed it. The cilantro gave the soup a slightly spicy kick as did the cumin. As a healthy soup, the meatballs contain lean ground turkey for protein, rice for your carbohydrate source, and zucchini and carrots for your vegetables. Feel free to add mushrooms, spinach, corn or peppers for added sources of veggies.

I will admit, I think this is more of a “ladies” inspired meal. My husband and Dad were not here to try the soup, and while I think they would both enjoy it, I don’t think they would ever “crave” it. Most men (Matt and my Dad) would probably rather you throw a piece of steak, potato and roll on their plate rather than eat a bowl of soup.

Nonetheless, here’s a healthy new soup recipe for you to try and warm you up on those rainy days like today!

Combine ground turkey, rice, cilantro, parsley, cumin and salt.
Add the egg, mixing until everything is well combined.
Roll into 1-inch balls.
Saute onions over medium heat until soft, about 6 minutes.
Add garlic, chicken broth, water and tomato paste. Add carrots and bring to a boil.
Add meatballs and cook for 15 minutes.
Add zucchini. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Stir in oregano, salt and pepper and then serve.
Garnish with your choice of sliced avocados, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, cilantro, and/or a lime wedge.

Albondigas (Meatball) Soup
1 pound lean ground turkey
1/3 cup rice
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch half moons
1 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 avocado, sliced for serving
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving

1. To make the meatballs: Combine the ground turkey, uncooked rice, cilantro, parsley, cumin, and salt in a medium bowl. Use a wooden spoon to gently stir the mixture a couple of times to blend Add the egg, mixing until everything is well combined. Pinch off large walnut-size bits of the mixture and roll them in your palms to make 1-inch balls. (You can cover the meatballs and refrigerate for a few hours if you like.)
2. To make the soup: Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6 minutes.
3. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and 2 cups of water. Add the tomato past and stir to combine. Once the tomato paste is dissolved, add the carrots and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and carefully add the meatballs, a few at at time. Cook the meatballs for 15 minutes, then add the zucchini. Continue to simmer the soup until the carrots and zucchini are tender and the meatballs are cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Stir in the oregano, salt and pepper.
5. Serve with avocado, if desired, a sprinkle of cilantro, and lime wedge on the side for squeezing.

Yield: 6 servings
Recipe from: Pretty Delicious Cookbook by Candice Kumai

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving): 218 Calories | 7g Fat | 23g Protein | 2g Fiber | 4g Sugars | 758mg Sodium | 17g Carbohydrates | 65mg Cholesterol

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