Many years ago I learned how to make “albondigas” soup, a traditional Mexican meatball soup. As I looked in my refrigerator today deciding what to cook for lunch, our leftover meatloaf and raw winter weather inspired me to design a soup to nourish me and keep me warm.

As always when I cook, I started with the meatloaf and started adding more vegetables, trying to get as many colors (nutrients) as possible.

I wanted some fiber (organic kidney beans), lightness (zucchini), tangy (tomato), healthy grain (leftover brown rice from a Thai take out), chicken stock (from a roasted chicken last week), detoxification (fresh parsley), and spicy (my homemade chili spice mix).


Want to see how I made it? (It only took me 10 minutes!) First, I quickly sautéed the zucchini and then added the kidney beans.


Then I added the seasonings and the chicken broth.



Cooked for 5 minutes. Added the tomatoes, meatloaf and rice.



Added chopped parsley.


Then bring to a boil and turn off burner. Plate and enjoy!


THE IMPROV COOK: Leftover “Albondigas” Soup


  • 2 C chicken broth
  • Leftover meatloaf
  • 1 C kidney beans
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 C brown rice
  • 1/4 C fresh parsley,
  • 3 T chili spice mix


  1. Quickly sautéed the zucchini
  2. Add the kidney beans
  3. Add the spices and chicken broth
  4. Cook for 5 minutes
  5. Add the tomatoes, meatloaf and rice
  6. Add chopped parsley
  7. Bring to boil and the take off heat source
  8. ENJOY!