Spicy Mexican Meatball Soup


Took me awhile to perfect the hack to this one, but dang if it isn’t delicioso! My original base was Marcella Valladolid’s recipe. That’s an easy one too, but sometimes I don’t have all the ingredients on hand (you know I’m lazy) and I wanted to ease up the tomato-ey flavor. This recipe is enough to last this party of one for a couple of days. You can also freeze it. I love spicy so I added more peppers, but the blend below keeps it at a nice heat level below the “holy hell this will rip my stomach lining apart” hot.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions (just buy the pre-chopped version)
  • 1/2 lb. ground sirloin
  • 1 carrot (cut into rounds)
  • 2-3 chilies (I slice 2 fresno red and leave 1 green serrano whole)
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes
  • 1 can organic garbanzo beans
  • 1 yukon gold potato, cut into chunks
  • 6 cups organic vegetable stock (compare sodium as it can be surprisingly high!)
  • 1 organic zucchini
  • 1/2 cup orzo

Meatballs: Either ground sirloin or ground chicken works best, I’ve also tried the beef/pork combo and it was tasty. Season with garlic salt or adobo, Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning and some freshly ground black pepper. I don’t add a ton of seasoning as the soup itself is super flavorful. 1/2 lb. should yield about 20-25 tiny meatballs.


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a dutch oven (this one is similar to mine) over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, watch this as the onions can burn pretty quickly.
  2. Add the veggie ingredients and then add the veggie stock. Once the stock is added, add the canned ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, lower the heat to simmer and add the meatballs and orzo. Mix well as the orzo tends to stick to the bottom. You could add more orzo but I find 1/2 cup keeps it from becoming mushy and sticking to the bottom.
  4. Cook for about 20 minutes and voila, soup for days!

Tip: Save the other 2 cups of veggie stock for re-heating. The orzo tends to get a bit bossy in this soup.


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