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Sopa de Albondigas

Sopa de Albondigas - Healthy Meatball Soup

This delicious sopa de albondigas (meatball soup) is a traditional Guatemalan dish that's easy to make and low in carbs. Serve it with rice, avocado and homemade corn tortillas for a meal the whole family will love.
Course Soup
Cuisine Guatemalan, Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 310kcal
Author Michele Peterson
Cost $5


  • large cooking pot
  • Large Mixing Bowl


  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 small Tomato (chopped, with seeds and liquid removed)
  • 1 small Onion (chopped)
  • 1 pound Lean Ground Beef
  • 10 Mint Leaves (chopped, reserve 1 tbsp for garnish)
  • Cilantro (chop a generous handful, reserve 1 tbsp for garnish)
  • 1 Egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup Soft Breadcrumbs toasted
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 6 cups Beef Broth (homemade or Campbells Low Sodium, Ready to Use Beef Broth recommended)
  • 1 Huisquil (cut into quarters, also known as chayote)
  • 1 cup Carrot (julienned)


  • Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Fry the tomato and onion until softened, but not browned. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Mix the softened vegetables with the ground beef, mint, cilantro, egg, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Allow it to cool in the refrigerator while you slice the vegetables.
  • Form meat mixture into small, firm meatballs.
  • Meanwhile, bring beef broth to boil in a large Dutch Oven or soup pot and reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Drop meatballs gently, one at a time, into the simmering broth.
  • When the meatballs have floated to the top, add the sliced huisquil and julienned carrots, and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  • Sprinkle with reserved cilantro and mint.


  • Serve this meatball soup with cooked white rice, chirmol (salsa fresca), and wedges of lime and/or fresh avocado.
  • To make your own toasted breadcrumbs quickly and easily, toast slices of bread in your toaster or under your broiler, then process in a food processor until fine. 
  • Are you wondering about huisquil (chayote)? It is a squash that resembles a green pear, and has a texture described as a cross between a potato and cucumber. The fruit is rich in Vitamin C and amino acids. 
  • What kind of beef should you use for albondigas? There's quite a difference in fat content between extra lean, lean, medium and regular ground beef.  Regulatory guidelines specify the maximum content for each. Extra lean ground beef has a maximum fat content of 10%, lean has a maximum of 17 per cent fat, medium has a maximum of 23 per cent fat and regular ground beef is allowed up to 30 per cent fat.
  • For albondigas that are cooked in soup, the best beef to use is lean beef. While it might be tempting to cut down on fat and go for extra-lean, in my experience that will result in less tender meatballs. The extra bit of fat in lean ground beef will help make them melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
  • Any higher fat content than lean and you run the risk of the meatballs falling apart as they cook. You'll also need to cool the soup and skim the hardened fat off the surface before serving. You still need to do a little skimming if you use lean ground beef but you won't need to cool the soup. 
  • Simmer the broth very gently at a low temperature so the meatballs don't fall apart while they're cooking. 
Please Note: Nutritional information is created by online calculators and is not guaranteed to be accurate as the figures are only estimates. 


Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1165mg | Potassium: 1391mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5701IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 4mg