Category Archives: Soups~Caldos

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenes~(Cheese Stuffed Meatball Soup)

Have you ever started with a recipe idea in mind, then you end up with something  even more delicious than you imagined? That was the case with this recipe for Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas. My friend Denise, who loves to cook, shared a recipe for a French Onion Soup with Stuffed Meatballs. My intention was to try it just as it was written, but ended up not having enough onions and a few  of the other ingredients. So, as I do for many recipes, I just pulled from what I already had in my pantry and refrigerator. I added some of my favorites like zucchini, carrots and jalapeño. The results were delicious! A cross between French onion soup and Mexican meatball (albondigas)soup, but with cheese stuffed meatballs. Bonus! A hearty meal, to say the least. The wonderful thing about this recipe, is that you could serve the meatballs in a nice, fresh bollilo roll and serve the soup on the side. Or you can serve it as is with warm corn tortillas.


Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas~(Cheese Stuffed Meatball Soup)

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


For Cheese Stuffed Meatballs
2 pounds ground chuck, chicken, pork or turkey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons chile ancho powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces smoked cheese, I used gruyere
*slice cheese into 16 equal cubes
Olive oil for cooking meatballs

Tips* This was prepared in a large quantity for a pot luck meal, but you could certainly cut all of the ingredients by half for a smaller family.

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


For Soup Base

2 tablespoons Oilve oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large sweet onions, sliced into strips
salt and pepper to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup peas
1/3 cup cilantro
1/4 cup champagne or sherry vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups beef stock
3 cups chicken stock


Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


Caldo de Albondigas RellenasNot the prettiest when all of the onions caramelize and reduce, but the flavor was delicious!

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


1. To  prepare the meatballs. In  a large bowl, add the ground meat, spices, bread crumbs and eggs. Mix to combine. Roll 16 equal meatballs. Take each meatball and flatten slightly. Place a cube of cheese in the center and form meatball around the cheese to cover completely. Place on tray or plate and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. To a large dutch oven style pot, add olive oil and butter. Add all of the onion, and heat to medium/low. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook and saute for a good 15 minutes, stirring often to move so that the onions brown and reduce.

3. Add the garlic, jalapeño, bell pepper and carrots and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Add in all of the remaining ingredients for soup. Bring to a boil, reduce to lowest setting and keep covered 3/4 of the way.

4. While the soup simmers, brown the meatballs. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat in a large skillet. When hot, add the meatballs and sear for 3 minutes per side. Try to get as many sides browned as you can. You may have to brown them in batches.

5. Once meatballs are browned, raise the heat slightly on soup pot. When it starts to boil gently, carefully add in all of the meatballs. Making sure they are immersed into the broth so they cook properly. Cover pot partially and continue cooking for 30  to 35 minutes, gently stirring meatballs once as they cook. Most of the meatballs opened up on me, but the cheese stayed intact. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro. Yields up to 8 to 10 servings. 

Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas


Caldo de Albondigas Rellenas



Peruvian Style Shrimp Chowder~ Chupe de Camarones

Chupe is a generic term in South America which refers to a variety of stews prepared with chicken, red meat, fish or shellfish. For today’s blog post, I decided to prepare a shrimp variety of this Peruvian Style Shrimp Chowder. Even though the temperature is warmer now, I always associate any seafood soup or chowder to a delicious summer menu. The inspiration for this recipe was the small jar of aji amarillo chile paste I was lucky enough to find. I have never seen the fresh variety of aji peppers, so this was the next best thing.  Some of the staples of a delicous chupe recipe are potatoes, eggs, peas and corn. I was out of corn on this day, but surprisingly had all of the other ingredients in my pantry and refrigertor. A popular way to serve up this delicious dish would be with a bright sunny side egg or poached egg on top. I ate the chowder so fast, I did not even take the time to try it with an egg on top! Lol! Next time.


Chupe de Camarones~
 Peruvian Style Shrimp Chowder

Chupe de Camarones-Peruvian Style Shrimp Chowder


Chupe de Camarones-Peruvian Style Shrimp Chowder


1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and cleaned. Reserve shrimp shells
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, diced
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons aji chile paste
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups shrimp broth from shells
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 pound small white or yellow potatoes, quartered
2 eggs, beaten and tempered
1 1/2 cups cabbage, chopped
3/4 cup peas
1 cup milk at room temperature (Some recipes call for evaporated milk)

For Garnish
Queso Fresco, crumbled
Cilantro, chopped

Chupe de Camarones-Peruvian Shrimp Chowder

Chupe de Camarones

Chupe de Camarones

Chupe de Camarones-Peruvian Style Shrimp Chowder

I was fortunate enough to find this product of Aji Amarillo at the local market which carries a large variety of ethnic foods. If you cannot find this,  For a medium heat paste, you could roast some sweet yellow peppers with habanero peppers. Seed them and puree with just  a little water and salt. 


1. After you peel and clean the shrimp, transfer the shells to a sauce pan and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In a large dutch oven pot, add the butter and olive oil. Heat to medium, add the onion, garlic and carrots. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the aji paste and cook for 2 more minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes, oregano, cumin and bay leaves. Add another pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, vinegar and strain shrimp stock directly into soup. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and taste for salt.

4. Add the potatoes and bring back up to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. To the beaten eggs,slowly stream in about 1/3 cup of hot broth from soup, whisking the whole time. Add egg mixture to the soup and stir to combine. Add in the cabbage, peas and room temperature milk. When soup comes back up to a simmer, add in the shrimp and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 5 more minutes. Garnish with queso fresco and cilantro. Yields 6-8 servings.

Chupe de Camorones

I strained the shrimp stock right into the chowder/soup base.

Chupe de Camarones-Peruvian Style Shrimp Chowder

Chicken Soup with Vegetables and Rice (Caldo de Pollo con Arroz)

Chicken Soup with Rice (Caldo de Pollo con Arroz). This is a soup that I prepare typically with all that leftover turkey I find myself with after the holidays. But I have also been known to pick up a rotiserrie chicken from my local market for a quick semi-homemade version of this recipe. But my favorite way to enjoy this recipe is preparing it with homemade chicken stock from chicken I cooked low and slow on the stove top. Either way you decide to prepare this recipe, it’s delicious with all of it’s simple and fresh ingredients. If rice is not your favorite, try adding some cooked pasta noodles or shells. One of the only reasons to enjoy the cold weather months is a big bowl of homemade soup!

Start from scratch with a homemade stock by cooking your own chicken or for a quick night recipe, purchase a already roasted chicken and have soup in  no time.
Start from scratch with a homemade stock by cooking your own chicken or for a quick night recipe, purchase a already roasted chicken and have soup in no time.

6 to 8 cups chicken broth,store bought or homemade recipe below (I like mine with alot of broth, so I add 8 cups)
4 cups diced cooked chicken  or turkey (I used both white and dark meat from roasted chicken)
1/2 cup diced sweet onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño pepper, minced
2 large roma tomatoes or tomatillos, diced
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

Tips~ Preparing Homemade Stock/Broth by cooking about 2 to 3 pounds of chicken thighs or breast with the skins on. Cover with water 2 inches over chicken, season to taste with salt. Add chopped onion, bulb of garlic,2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, handful of cilantro, 1 teaspoon peppercorns and 1 to 2 chile peppers of your choice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, skimming off the top, and cook for 45 to 60 minutes. Strain and discard solids, shred or dice chicken when  cooled. Chill stock overnight before using it. This will make it easier to remove the fat (top layer) before adding it to your favorite recipes.

There is nothing more delicious than any homemade stock for all of your favorite recipes.
There is nothing more delicious than any homemade stock for all of your favorite recipes.


For Rice
2 cups long grain rice (I use jasmine rice)
1 teaspooon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 cups water

A simple steamed jasmine rice with a few added spices is perfect for any soup recipe.
A simple steamed jasmine rice with a few added spices is perfect for any soup recipe.


1. Add the broth to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add all of the ingredients as listed, allowing the soup to come up to a boil before adding the seasonings.

2. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 35 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Taste for salt and other spices. Season to taste.

3. While soup is simmering, prepare the rice. Add 2 cups long grain rice, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 3 cups water in a pot. Stir gently, cover and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 18 to 20 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving. Serve soup with rice, garnish with cilantro and lemon wedges. Yields up to 8 servings.

Caldo de Pollo con Arroz
Caldo de Pollo con Arroz

Tips~ you can prepare this soup in the slow cooker as well. Add all the ingredients, minus the cooked rice and  cook on on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. This is a great recipe using any leftover chicken, turkey, pork or beef roast. Or just add more veggie varieties for a meatless option.