For those of you that have never experianced this Mexican soup. Sopa de Albondigas This Mexican meatball soup was a family favorite growing up. Not an appetizer, always a main course, either for lunch or dinner. "Albondigas" means "meatballs" in Spanish, and the trick to perfect albondigas soup is to put chopped mint leaves into the meatballs. The mint is what gives an albondigas soup meatball its unique flavor. Preparation time: 1 hour. 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 large garlic clove, minced 1/2 cup of tomato sauce 3 quarts of chicken stock or beef stock OR water OR a mixture of both (we usually use half stock half water as the meatballs will create their own stock) 2 large carrots, sliced (I like extra carrots) 1/2 lb of string beans, cut into 1 inch pieces 1 pound ground beef 1/3 cup of raw white rice 1 raw egg 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves and/or parsley 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/1/2 cup of frozen or fresh peas Dried oregano, crumbled Salt and pepper 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and broth mixture. Bring to boil and simmer. Add carrots and string beans. 2 Prepare meatballs. Mix rice into meat, adding mint and parsley leaves, salt and pepper. Add raw egg. Form beef into 1-inch meatballs. 3 Return soup to gentle simmer. Add meatballs to soup, one at a time. Cover and let simmer for 1/2 hour. Add peas towards the end of the 1/2 hour. Add a few pinches of oregano and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish soup with chopped fresh cilantro. Serves 6-8. Cilantro is one herb that you either love it or hate it. I feel it's an essential part of Mexican food and it must be fresh. If you don't care for it you can substitute parsley but you will loose the true Mexican flavor. Now I prefer my sopa to be a little on the spicy side so if you do also you can add 3 or 4 chopped fresh jalapeno or serrano (warning to the inexperienced with Mexican peppers, serrano peppers are much hotter than jalapenos) peppers depending on which you like. Enjoy.