Mexican Albondigas Soup with Kale & Quinoa

Mexican Albondigas Soup

with Kale & Quinoa

Albondigas (Spanish for meatballs) soup is a traditional Mexican dish with a Middle Eastern influence. The word albondigas stems from the Arabic word al-bunduq, or “hazelnut,” referring to the shape and size of the little meatballs. In this heartier version, we made the meatballs larger than hazelnuts and substituted quinoa for the traditional rice.

Mexican Albondigas Soup with Kale & Quinoa ingredients


  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • 1 Bunch Mint
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 6-Ounce Can Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Beef Demi-Glace
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 Cup Quinoa
  • 10 Ounces Lean Ground Beef
  • 2 Tablespoons Breadcrumbs
  • About 635 Calories Per Serving
  • Makes 2 Servings


Prepare your ingredients:

Prepare your ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic. Roughly chop the cilantro and mint. Cut out and discard the thick stems of the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Peel and small dice the onion and carrot.

Start the soup:

Start the soup:

In a medium pot, heat some olive oil on high until hot. Add the carrot, half the onion, and half the garlic; cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste and cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until the paste starts to stick to the bottom of the pot, stirring frequently. Stir in the demi glace, dried oregano, quinoa, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer slowly for 3 to 5 minutes while you make the meatballs.

Make the meatballs:

Make the meatballs:

In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, the remaining onion and garlic, and half of both the cilantro and mint (reserve some cilantro and mint for garnish). Season with salt and pepper. Using wet hands, form the mixture into 14 ping-pong-ball-sized meatballs. Add the meatballs to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer 4 to 6 minutes, or until the meatballs are almost completely cooked through.

Finish the soup:

Finish the soup:

Stir in the kale and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 6 to 8 minutes longer, or until the meatballs are completely cooked through and the kale is wilted. (Be sure to stir carefully so the meatballs remain intact.)

Plate your dish:

Plate your dish:

Divide the soup and meatballs between 2 bowls. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and mint. Enjoy!

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