Sopa de Albondigas de Pollo is an incredibly flavorful and meaty chicken soup that we will be making today. It is quite easy, and despite having a couple of steps, doesn’t take too long to make.
What Is Sopa De Albondigas De Pollo?
Today’s recipe is a Nicaraguan-inspired chicken meatball soup. This is a traditional local soup found in many regions Latin American regions. And, like many of these staple dishes, there are many, MANY different variations of this dish.
Today, I will show you mine. This is an incredibly savory and meaty soup recipe. And it has a few different elements in it to help with that.
The first is a rich tomato and stock-based chicken soup. It doesn’t contain any spices or herbs and gets most of the flavor from the chicken itself. It also has some potatoes in it to make it heartier and more filling.
Then, we have the chicken pieces inside the soup. This is optional, but you’ll see that most Nicaraguan Sopa de Albondigas de Pollo have them. I personally love chicken thighs but any cut of chicken is fine.
Just keep in mind that the cut of chicken you choose will affect the cooking time of the soup. See my recipe tips and tricks for more information on this.
And finally, I will show you how to make a classic chicken meatball with a few simple ingredients.
This recipe is super easy, relatively quick, and extremely flavorful. It’s no wonder it’s an almost staple recipe in so many households!
Read on to learn how to make Sopa de Albondigas de Pollo from scratch.
Tips And Tricks For This Nicaraguan Chicken Meatball Soup
- For this recipe, you can substitute the breadcrumbs with corn masa mixture. Not all households have this ingredient on hand, but neither do they have breadcrumbs. If I have to choose between the two, I would go for breadcrumbs. Just because they have a little more texture and can be made from flavorful bread, like sourdough.
- Some recipes also include the juice of 1 sour orange. If this ingredient isn’t available to you, you can also use regular orange. It helps give the meat a fresher flavor but isn’t a must-add ingredient.
- Always research the cooking time of your chicken pieces first. This will affect the overall cooking time of this soup recipe. If you choose a larger cut, like a Maryland, then first allow the chicken to cook by itself in the soup base. After the piece is almost completely cooked, add the potatoes and meatballs and continue cooking the soup.
- Remember, chicken is only safe to eat once it’s reached an internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC). You can test it with an internal thermometer. That counts for both the meatballs and chicken pieces.
FAQs On Sopa De Albondigas De Pollo
How do you keep albondigas from breaking apart?
The breadcrumbs and egg are crucial ingredients that hold the entire mixture together. It ultimately prevents the ingredients from falling apart. However, too many breadcrumbs can also cause the mixture to become dry and fall apart. So, in the end, your meat mixture needs to have a very specific ratio of wet and dry binding ingredients.
Can you make Sopa de Albondigas de Pollo in advance?
You can make the soup base and meatballs a day in advance. But I don’t recommend making the chicken pieces or potatoes in advance. The flavor and texture of these elements aren’t as good the next day as they are freshly made.
Unless of course, you want to freeze the dish. In that case, place it in an airtight container and wrap it in foil. Then, store it inside the freezer for three months.
Why are my chicken meatballs tough and dry?
This happens when you pack the meatballs too tightly. It doesn’t leave them any room to absorb the sauce from the soup. That causes them to turn out chewy and quite unappealing.
So, when shaping meatballs, always work with a light touch. It will help guarantee they come out juicy, tender, and uber-flavorful.
More Delicious Soups
Nicaraguan Sopa De Albondigas De Pollo – Chicken Meatball Soup
For the chicken meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, shredded
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, shredded
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the soup
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 chicken pieces of your choice
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely shredded
- 6-8 cups water
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed in chunks
- Fine salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Red chili, sliced for garnish
- Fresh shredded cilantro leaves, for garnish
Make the chicken meatballs
- Place all of the meatball ingredients inside a large mixing bowl.
- With gloves on, work the ingredients together until you have a uniform chicken meatball "dough." The flavors should be uniformly and evenly distributed.
- Then, divide the mixture into 20-40 meatballs. You can play around with a specific size as long as they are all the same. Place the shaped meatballs to the side.
- Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry each chicken meatball for 5-7 minutes per side. They should be beautifully browned all around. But they don't have to be completely cooked through yet.
- After all of the meatballs have been fried, you can set them aside. Drain them on a plate with paper towel.
Make the chicken soup base
- To start, heat some olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Then, add your chicken pieces and fry them until they become golden brown. They don't have to be cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the heat and set the pieces aside.
- In the same pan, reduce the heat to medium and add more olive oil if needed. Add the onions and fry them for 5 minutes. Then, fry the garlic for another minute only.
- Next, you can add crushed tomatoes, cilantro leaves, water, and chicken broth. Give the mixture a good stir.
- Add the cubed potatoes and browned chicken. Bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, add the fried chicken meatballs. Then, continue cooking the soup for another 10 minutes. Your soup is ready when the chicken is completely cooked and the potato cubes are tender.
- Finally, if needed, you can adjust the seasoning of the Sopa de Albondigas de Pollo. Serve it immediately while it's still hot.