It’s finally soup weather in Los Angeles!

One of my favorite things to make at the end of the week is soup. Having a giant pot all weekend to have for lunch or even breakfast makes life so much easier feeding a family of four.

Growing up in LA and having a Mexican sister-in-law who lives right next door to me, my cooking is very influenced by Latin American cuisine. One of my all time favorite Mexican soups has always been Albondigas. This hearty meatball soup is a one pot meal; protein, veggies, rice and tons of flavor. The beef has a richer flavor profile whereas the turkey is much lighter but both equally delicious. The original recipe from my sister-in-law calls for Knorr chicken bouillon and I substituted with an organic chicken base by, Better Than Bouillon. Another secret to making this recipe extra delicious is using homemade chicken broth but if you have store bought broth, it absolutely does the job.

Like I said, this is a one pot meal but if you can get your hands on some tostadas, slather them with sour cream and layer on some sliced radish.

Update: The original recipe for this soup called for Chicken Bouillon, which I don’t regularly use for cooking. I found a replacement that was a slightly healthier version called, Better Than Bouillon. I have made with and without and to be honest, both were delicious. If you decide to omit BTB, add 1/2 tsp salt to the broth.



For the meatballs:

  • 2 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 1 tbl minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbl salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbl fresh parsley minced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup tomato and onion and garlic puree ( will need 3 1/4 cup total, 3 cups for broth, 1/4 cup for meatballs)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice



For the soup:

  • 3 cups pureed tomato and onion and garlic ( for full amount of soup and meatballs I used 6 Roma tomatoes, 1/2 white onion, 3 garlic)
  • 2 tbl avocado oil
  • 2 jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8 cups chicken broth (homemade will take this soup to the next level but store bought works too)
  • 3 carrots (cut in 1 inch piece)
  • 3 celery (cut in 1 inch piece)
  • 1 zucchini or yellow squash (cut in one inch piece)
  • 1 tbl chicken Better than Bouillion



      1. Mix all of the meatball ingredients by hand making sure everything is well mixed, this usually takes 3-4 minutes.
      2. On to a parchment lined baking sheet scoop 2 inch meatballs onto tray (I use a mini ice cream scooper)
      3. Once you have finished, put in the refrigerator while you make the soup (makes approx 40 meatballs
      4. In a large pot heat 2 tbl avocado oil and sauté the onion and jalapeño. Make sure to sauté gently so the jalapeño doesn’t break open. You can also wrap the jalapeño in cheese cloth tied with twine after sauteeing.
      5. Add the carrot, celery and zucchini and sauté for 1-2 minutes
      6. Add the tomato, onion and garlic puree and cook for 2-3 minutes
      7. Add broth and Bay leaves, salt and Chicken Better than Bouillon and give a good stir.
      8. Drop the meatballs in, a couple at a time.
      9. Once the soup comes to a boil, lower to a medium simmer for 25-30 minutes.
      10. Remove the jalapeños and serve on the side for anyone who likes extra heat.
      11. Garnish with sliced radish, cilantro, lime wedge and serve with tostadas and sour cream.