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.
I have one more Greek dish to share- for now. 🙂 I incorporated rotisserie chicken meat to make this a super-fast weeknight dish. The dill and lemon zest make it reminiscent of avgolemono. Cooking the pasta in chicken stock gives it wonderful flavor and adds creaminess to the finished dish.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I modified the proportions. Easy and great! We ate it warm but it would also be delicious served cold or at room temperature as a pasta salad.
Yield: Serves 6
4 cups chicken stock
1 pound fusilli
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
finely grated lemon zest, from one lemon (reserve some for garnish)
2 T fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds shredded rotisserie chicken meat
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
Combine stock, pasta, oil, lemon zest, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 3/4 cups water in a large straight-sided skillet. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
Bring to a boil over medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, 9 minutes.
Season chicken with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Continue to cook, stirring, until pasta is al dente and chicken is cooked through, about 2-3 minutes more.
Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice and dill. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.
Serve immediately, topped with more lemon zest and dill, and a generous drizzle of oil.
This soup is truly season-less, but especially perfect on a cool and rainy autumn day. That’s today for me. 😦
A soup like this is the exact reason to have homemade stock in the freezer! This recipe is from Food Network.com, contributed by Cat Cora. I modified the recipe to use a rotisserie chicken (such a shortcut!) and homemade stock. Loved it. Delicious.
Yield: about 8 servings
1 (approximately 3 pound) rotisserie chicken
12 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups finely diced onion (I used 1 large yellow onion)
2/3 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 tablespoon coarse salt
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To Prepare the Chicken: Pull the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Coarsely shred or dice the meat into large cubes; refrigerate until ready to use.
Warm the stock over high heat, add the rice and onion and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is almost cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Add the chicken and reduce the broth to a low simmer.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat the lemon juice and eggs.
Ladle 2 cups of hot broth into a measuring cup with a pourable spout. While whisking, slowly pour the 2 cups of broth into the egg mixture.
Pour the egg mixture back into the pot, add 1/2 tablespoon salt (less if using store-bought stock) and 1 teaspoon ground pepper. Stir well to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning, as necessary.