Recipe of the Moment: Youvarlakia Avgolemono

Youvarlakia AvgolemonoMy appetite for tart flavors began early in my pregnancy and has lasted throughout. This soup is absolutely fantastic when I’m in the mood for something fresh and tart, yet it is hearty enough to stand alone as a main course. This will be great cool weather fare!

Note: although it is not traditional to have veggies in this soup in Greece, I always put a couple in, simply because we all need more vehicles for veggies and they taste good! I have carrot and potato on the ingredient list here, but minced celery and maybe a smallish zucchini are also quite delightful, especially if made in the summer or early autumn when there is less desire for heavier soups. You can blend the veggies into the broth for picky children (or adults!).


    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 1 onion, minced
    • 1 garlic clove, minced fine
    • 6 tablespoons raw long-grain rice
    • chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint ( or 2 teaspoons dried and rubbed between fingers into powder)
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • salt & freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 eggs
    • 6 cups water plus 1 tbsp. boullion or 6 cups stock
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 celery ribs, chopped
    • 2 -3 carrots, sliced
    • 1 zucchini, chopped ( about 1 1/2 cups)
    • 1 large potato, cubed
    • 1 lemon, juice of only
In a large bowl, combine the meat, minced onion, garlic, rice, 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, the mint, oregano, salt and pepper, and 1 egg, slightly beaten. Knead for a few minutes, then shape into walnut-sized meatballs and set aside.
In a soup pot, bring the water or stock to boil and add the meatballs.
Cook for 20 minutes while chopping veggies.
Add chopped onion, celery, carrot, zucchini and potato. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Lower the heat and gently simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes (until the vegetables are tender), then remove from the heat. If you need to puree the stock to disquise veggies, remove 1 cup of broth and meatballs and blend remaining stock until smooth.
To prepare avgolemono: beat the two remaining eggs for 2 minutes.
While beating all the while, gradually add the lemon juice.
Then add 1 cup of the reserved hot broth in a slow, steady stream (ladle), beating steadily, until nearly all the hot liquid has been added.
Add the egg/stock mixture back to the soup pot and heat, being careful not to let it boil, stirring, until thickened.
Serve hot, garnished with parsley.
If tolerable to your digestion, serve this with feta cheese on the side- goes great with the little meatballs. I use sheep milk feta, which is easier on my system than cow-based dairy.
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