New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Thursday, March 12, 2009

CrockPot Albondigas (Meatball) Soup Recipe

Good morning! I made a wonderful meatball soup a few nights ago. I was inspired by Elise Bauer's Albondigas Soup recipe posted on Simply Recipes. I bookmarked this soup about a year ago, but hadn't gotten around to trying it. When I found that Costco started carrying some gluten-free meatballs I knew I was ready to test it out. Elise makes her own, which you can too, but you'll need to fully cook them before throwing into the crock. They will disintegrate otherwise.

I really liked this soup, and what I liked EVEN more about it was that I made do with pantry and freezer stuff instead of going to the store, which makes it "free"! I'm speaking with Elise in July at BlogHer on the FoodBlogging During a Recession Panel. The Crock-Pot is such a useful tool when creating low cost meals for you and your family.

The Ingredients.

4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup baby tomatoes, quartered
1 cup baby carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup prepared pasta sauce (I used pizza sauce; it worked!)
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
15-18 frozen meatballs, Italian or similar flavored (The Coleman Natural say gluten free right on the label)
1 cup frozen peas (if you stir them in 20 min before serving, they will retain their color. I did not do that, and my peas looked canned. I wish I had waited and stirred them in at the end.)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart slow cooker. Put the broth, vegetables, pizza sauce, and mint into your slow cooker. Stir in frozen meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. The seasoning from the meatballs is what is going to flavor your soup. The longer and slower you cook the soup, the more flavor the broth will have. Stir in frozen peas 20 minutes or so before serving.
Garnish with a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese.

The Verdict.

Adam and I really liked this soup. I was intrigued by the mint, which is what caused me to bookmark this soup to try so long ago. Elise said that the mint is what really differentiates Albondigas (means "meatballs") Soup from other soups and provides a unique flavor. I was happily surprised by the subtle mint flavor, and how it provided a cooling sensation on my tongue. I wanted a bit of heat, and added some Tabasco to my bowl. Adam ate it as-is, and the kids drank the broth and ate the veggies---no meatballs for them (yet they eat them plain with ketchup all the time...?).

Very cool. Thank you, Elise! I look forward to seeing you again in July.

I'm Speaking at <span class=BlogHer '09">

For those who aren't familiar with BlogHer, it is (primarily) a women's networking community and conference for bloggers, although many attend who do not yet blog, they are just interested in learning more about it. The three women founders wanted to create a conference specifically for women bloggers---this is now their 5th year. I went last year, and really enjoyed myself. It's a lot of fun to put faces with screen names, and meet new writers.
I do a bit of work during the week for BlogHerads, which is the ad network BlogHer started to help compensate women for their online writing work.
Adam and I are celebrating our 10-year anniversary this July, and will attend the conference together. Sort of. I think he's mostly looking forward to sleeping in and ordering room service.

related: Save Money by Using Your Crock-Pot Slow Cooker
A Year Ago Today: Ginger Teriyaki Tofu
A Year Ago Yesterday: Dulce de Leche
Totally Together: Managing Children's Art
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Melissa Henning said...

yaay!! *happy hillbilly dance* I can't wait to make this! I am so EXCITED! I tried to make my own a couple months back, but it didn't taste like Albondigas. I didn't know to use mint!

I wonder when blogherads will be accepting applications again. I reapplied because I have a much larger viewing now, than when I first applied. Today is 71 days and counting!

Thanks again for the recipe! I'm so excited to try it (and so glad that you're done with pork lol)!

C. Beth said...

The soup sounds great except...the mint sounds really weird. What does it do for the flavor?

Crockpot Lady said...

71 days, Melissa! WOW! you can totally do it.

C. Beth, I was hesitant, too. On the first few tastes (I taste hourly, usually. I suck at following the no peeking rule)I tasted a lot of mint. But by the time the soup was finished, the mint blended with the Italian seasoning flavor from the meatballs and just provided a mellow minty flavor that felt cool to the tongue.
Elise says you can use parsley if the mint weirds you out.

xoxo steph

Calamity Anne said...

You inspired me to take my 'on the stovetop' Albondigas Soup recipe and alter it for the crockpot. My mad scientist experiment is cooking away, and the verdict will be revealed at dinner tonight. Thanks again for the inspiraton!

The Maulsbys said...

sooo i know this is random, but if you don't mind sharing, how did you get the year ago today link thingie on the top left of your blog? that is so fun!


Coleen's Recipes said...

Don't you just love it when you find a recipe that really excites you AND you just happen to have all of the ingredients already in the pantry? Me too! Thanks for posting.

Maris said...

I've een wanting to make this for awhile and this looks like a great recipe. Some are so complicated and too many ingredients - less is more!

Mama Chicken said...

love, love, LOVE albondigas! My grandma always made this for me as a kid and I miss it so much. Can't wait to give it a try!

Becky said...

Thank you for the news about the gluten free meatballs! So exciting!

Chris said...

My husband makes this soup, but just with onions and green chiles and tomatos, and with cilantro, not mint. Also good.

Catie said...

I have what I hope is a quick question - I bought a crockpot but it is too large for most of our everyday meals - so I'm going to buy a smaller one but before I buy another crockpot I have a question:

if there is a recipe for a 4qt crockpot and I make a half recipe will the cooking time be similar I guess it would extend the other direction too - if I have a recipe for a 3 qt crockpot and double it for my 6qt crockpot will the cooking time be similar?

Thanks in advance

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Catie,
that is a really good question. No matter what size crock you use, if it's about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full, your meal should cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8, give or take a bit here or there depending on altitude, water hardness, if your meat is frozen, etc.

xoxo steph

Our Scoop said...

So a show on Oprah last week had some chefs showing how families can make meals and Tyler Florence brings up the idea of using the crockpot. Then Oprah said "but what do you even make in the crockpot - I have one and don't know any recipes." I THINK YOU SHOULD GO ON OPRAH!!!!!!!!!! Show her all your recipes and promote your cookbook!!!!!!!

Cotton Eyed Jo said...

I agree, you should go on Oprah! After preparing our corned beef in the crockpot with nothing harder to do than cutting up some veggies, well, we'll be trying lots more of your suggestions. It was delicious, and my husband (our grocery shopper) even said he will buy another corned beef this week!

Thanks for such a delicious easy feast!

Funky Food Trisha said...

Thank you for checking out my site and linking yours to mine! I have been a huge fan of yours and when my oven died you kept us happily fed!

ryanandange said...

i just noticed the "a year ago today" link. Very awesome since I just starting visiting your blog in September last year. It's like a year of crockpotting started over for me. Thanks!

Carrie said...

oh i just love meatball soup!! great recipe Stephanie!! ;-)

jennifer said...

Meatball soup might possibly be my ultimate comfort food -- my mom would make it on rainy nights and it was one of those foods that was "only good, never bad" as we like to say in my house. This post really made me smile. Can't wait to try it.

Shari said...

This looks great and I have most of the ingredients already!

Stacey said...

I make Albondigas and Spaghetti/Meatballs in the crockpot on a regular basis. They *can* be cooked in the broth/sauce in the crock, but they gave to be smaller (like ping-pong ball size) compared to the giant meatballs you can simmer raw on the stove with these recipes. The meat must be very lean, and you need a binder (I use ground turkey in place of ground beef, and use 1 egg per pound of meat, and 1/4c to1/2c ground oatmeal in place of bread/crackers) and the sauce/broth pretty hot before you add the meatballs. You CANNOT stir it, no matter how tempting it is, but when they are done, oh my, they melt in your mouth, and are nice and tender :)

KaraMahina said...

I made this last night for dinner and it was GREAT! Everyone loved it :)

Kimberly said...

I have wanted to attend this conference. It sounds like a blast. I need to put it on the to do list for next year! Have fun.

herwickedness said...

Hi, I made this soup (which was DELISH!) but I just made it yesterday, and have a family emergency that means I have to go out of town - do you think this will freeze well?

Thanks! Your recipes have been great!

Sophie said...

Yum, this reminds me of a soup my grandma used to make when I was little. I've made it on the stove top but it didn't occur to me that I could do it in the good ol' crockpot :).

Max mickle said...

These Albondigas meatball soup recipe sounds great and looks even better. I am going to make them on my next party. It will be a crowd pleaser.thank you for shearing your post.

Jana said...

I made this tonight and it was delicious. I just made 1/4 of the recipe because my husband's deployed, but it worked well.

I didn't have celery, peas, baby tomatoes, or frozen meatballs. But I used some meatballs I had from spahetti and meatballs, and some canned diced tomatoes and it worked!! I also didn't really have to add the pizza sauce because it was on the meatballs.

Thanks for the recipe!! I love your blog!

Brandy said...

Another hallmark of Albondigas is rice. Just add some uncooked rice to your meat when you ball it up and voila!

Peggy said...

I made this last night for dinner, OMG, this is going to be a repeat dish. I didn't make it in the crockpot, but instead on the stove, and it turned into more of a stew than a soup, but it was awesome!
I didn't have corn and I forgot to put the peas in it and I added a cup of quinoa. I added the quinoa to add some hardiness to it, and it did just that.
Just awesome!

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