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Mexican Meatball soup

Mexican Meatball Soup, Poblano Albóndigas with Ancho Chile Soup

Pungent, earthy, cleverly spiced, complex, and just full of unexpected little delights, this soup will not disappoint.
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 322kcal


  • The Meatballs
  • 2 large poblano chiles
  • 1 pound ground beef 15% fat
  • 1/2 cup zucchini Coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup onion fine grated
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg beaten to blend
  • 2 garlic cloves pressed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano preferably Mexican, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • For The Soup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion coarsely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tablespoons ancho chile powder do not use blended chile powder
  • 9 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano preferably Mexican
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or more
  • Toppings
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or more
  • 4 corn tortillas cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • Cilantro chopped for garnish


  • Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Char chiles over direct flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag and steam 10 minutes. Stem, seed, and peel chiles, then chop finely (should yield about 3/4 cup).
  • Place chiles in large bowl. Gently mix in beef and all remaining ingredients. Using moistened hands and scant tablespoonful for each, roll meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs on sheet.
  • For the Soup
  • Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion with any juices and garlic. Sauté until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add chile powder and cumin; stir 1 minute. Add broth and oregano; bring to rolling boil. Reduce heat to very low, just below bare simmer, and cook 10 minutes.
  • Stir zucchini and rice into broth. Increase heat to medium and drop in meatballs, 1 at a time. Return soup to simmer. Cover and cook gently until meatballs and rice are cooked through, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat to avoid boiling, about 20 minutes. Add 1/4 cup cilantro and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season soup with salt and add more lime juice by teaspoonfuls, if desired.
  • toppings
  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat 1 minute. Add half of tortilla strips. Cook until crisp, gently separating strips with tongs, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer strips to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips, adding more oil if needed.
  • Ladle soup and meatballs into bowls. Top with tortilla strips and cilantro.


Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 1272mg | Potassium: 558mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1170IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 3.4mg