In Spanish, albondigas means meatballs. Every country that had been colonized by Spain has its own array of meatball dishes. In this recipe, lightly browned meatballs and vegetables are simmered in homecooked tomato soup.
Is this an albondigas soup then? Well, you may serve it as a soup. But, really, by the time the meatballs have simmered in tomato soup, the soup has thickened to a sauce, and the resulting dish is more stew than soup. Just serve with crusty bread and you have a hearty meal.
About the meatballs… Ground pork with a generous amount of fat was used here. Feel free to substitute ground beef, chicken, turkey or even lamb. Whichever ground meat you choose, you have to season the meatball mix generously. It’s not a good idea to simply rely on the flavors of the tomato soup to make your meatballs tasty. The simmering time is short so you just want the flavors of the meatballs and tomato soup to blend together.
For our pork balls, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, onion and garlic were added to the meat along with salt and pepper. To help bind the meat together, breadcrumbs and a whole egg were thrown in.
- 300 grams ground pork
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
- 3 tablespoons finely sliced cilantro
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs just until blended (overmixing makes meatballs tough).
- Form the mixture into two-inch balls.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan and spread the meatballs in the hot oil. Leave to allow the bottoms to brown lightly before carefully turning on all sides to brown evenly.
- Add the bell peppers and cherry tomatoes to the meatballs and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for a minute or two.
- Pour in the tomato soup.
- Bring to a gentle boil, cover and cook over low heat for about ten minutes.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.