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
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 land 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.