My mom and I absolutely love Greek avgolemono soup. Recently, I made this meatball version when she was visiting. Springtime in a bowl! Light, bright and fresh.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used homemade stock and modified the method.
Yield: Serves 4
- 1 pound ground chicken, ground turkey, or beef, very cold
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh dill or parsley, plus more for garnish, divided
- 1/2 cup grated yellow onion (from about 1 small onion)
- 1/4 cup grated carrot (from about 1 carrot)
- 1/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice, such as Basmati or Carolina, well rinsed and drained
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated, pushed through a garlic press, or minced
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 6 cups chicken stock (I used 4 cups homemade turkey stock + 2 cups chicken stock)
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
- freshly grated nutmeg, for serving, optional
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, 1/4 cup dill, onion, carrot, rice, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Gently mix with your hands until well combined.
- Gently form the mixture into 24 to 30 meatballs, each about 1 1/4 inches in diameter, placing them on a plate or baking pan. (I used a cookie scoop to evenly ration the meat mixture.)
- Cover and chill for at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. This helps the meatballs keep their shape while cooking.
- In a large pot, bring stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium and use a slotted spoon to carefully add meatballs to the pot. The broth should cover the tops of the meatballs by about 1/2 inch. If not, add a little water. Simmer gently, adjusting the heat so the broth doesn’t boil, until meatballs are cooked through and rice is tender, 25 to 35 minutes. (You can break open a meatball to test it.) Remove pot from heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and lemon juice until just mixed. Slowly add a ladle of warm broth to egg-lemon mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in another two ladles of broth to temper the egg mixture.
- Slowly drizzle the egg-lemon mixture back into the pot with the meatballs, stirring gently so you don’t break apart the meatballs.
- Return the pot to medium-low heat until it just starts to simmer. (Wait for a bubble or two to appear, but don’t let the pot boil.) The broth should be silky.
- Remove from heat, stir in remaining 1/2 cup dill. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. (It may need quite a bit of salt if you are starting with unsalted broth.)
- Garnish with nutmeg, if you like, and dill, and serve.