Albondigas soup is a traditional Mexican meatball soup ("albondigas" means "meatballs" in Spanish) that my mother has cooked for our family for almost 50 years. It is our version of comfort food. What makes the flavor of albondigas soup distinctive is the chopped mint in the meatballs. I once complained to a Mexican chef about the lack of mint in his cookbook's albondigas soup recipe, and he looked at me with surprise and said, "my mother puts mint in her albondigas!" You can, of course, skip the mint, substitute with a little fresh oregano or some cilantro, but to me, the soup's not the same without it. You can also vary the vegetables added, depending on what you have on hand and what's in season.