Chihuahua Mennonite meatball soup: Caldo de albondigas

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

This meat-and-potatoes soup, along with a salad and bread or bolillos, could easily serve as a main meal. A friend who has to watch cholesterol makes the meatballs with ground chicken and uses half and half instead of cream.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 chiles de arbol or other small, dried red chiles
  • 3 quarts good quality beef or chicken stock
  • ½ pound chard or spinach, washed and cut into ½ ” strips
  • 4 medium white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ½ cup heavy cream or half and half, scalded

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup finely minced or grated onion
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil and butter in a stockpot or Dutch oven, add the chopped onion and stir until onion begins to wilt. Add the chile and cook, stirring, another minute. Add stock, bring to boil and add chard, potatoes, peppercorns and bay leaves.

While the vegetables are cooking, combine all meatball ingredients in a bowl, and form ¾ ” meatballs. When the vegetables are nearly tender, add the meatballs to the pot, reduce heat and simmer until they are cooked through. (They will float on the surface.)

Just before serving, stir in the cream. Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a first course.

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Published or Updated on: January 1, 2007 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2007
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