Friday, 13 January 2017

Youvalakia - meatball soup

The snow has melted on our island but we have strong winds and rain instead. 78 year old  Vaso is keeping her two goats under cover and was outside in the driving rain this morning wearing her flimsy summer hat and pulling up clumps of clover to feed them.  Goats don't like to chomp away at the wet clover out in the fields  she  told me.     Vaso looks after her animals.  She's grooming the goats for the Easter spit.

The lettuces don't seem to have been harmed by the snow and I am expecting the lemons to be full of juice now they have had a good watering.  The drip, drip, drip of the snow melting yesterday was an amazing sound.  From every leaf, every plant, every tile there was a steady splash of water for many hours.

These cold days need warming soups so here is the recipe for one of my favorites.

Meatballs in an egg and lemon sauce.

Yiouvalakia avgolemono

This is the perfect comfort soup for a cold winter's day.  It has the tang of lemon juice, the velvety creaminess of the egg and lemon sauce and the tastiness of the flavoursome  rice meatball.

It is basically an easy  meatball soup recipe .  At the end of cooking the meatballs are thickened with eggs and lemon juice and become a creamy, savoury, tangy soup.

In a big bowl place
-  around 300 grams of minced beef
- half a cup of rice
- one onion chopped
- one garlic clove squished/squashed
- one egg
- a handful of parsley, mint and basil (all or whatever you have on hand)  I like to use a little of all of these herbs
- salt and pepper to taste

With a fork mash all of these ingredients together into a smooth 'dough', or get your hands in there and give it all a good hard massage

Form into walnut size balls and roll in flour

Put a pot of water on to boil.  You need about 2 cups of water and add a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Others add the oil to the meat mix, I add it to the water.  When the water is boiling flour the meatballs and drop them gently into the hot water.  They should not break up.

Turn the heat down to medium and cook the meatballs for about thirty minutes.   Very easy so far.  Now comes the egg and lemon sauce.  Follow the directions.  Take the meatballs off the heat first of all.

In a good size bowl beat two eggs.  Squeeze in the juice of two lemons (minus the pips please, though you could fish them out later as you eat.  Happens to me often)

Beat the eggs and the lemon juice till frothy.

NOW, take a soup ladle and fill it with the hot liquid from the boiled meatballs.  Pour it gently into the egg and lemon mixture, stirring/whisking all the time.  Sometimes it helps if one person pours the liquid and the other stirs the whole mix.
Repeat this a couple of times till the egg and lemon has become hot and soupy

Then slowly pour the egg/ lemon/ juice back into the meatballs.  Stir it around without breaking up the meatballs and serve while hot.

It will thicken more as it sits.  When reheating do it slowly and do not let it boil or it will curdle.

As usual serve with feta cheese, lots of wine and bread to dunk.

Really tummy filling and tasty on a nasty winter's day.

Kali Orexi


  1. Years ago i made this dish after reading the book "Epikindines mageirikes" by Andreas Staikos, in Hebrew it was cold "dangrerous cooking", i shall read it again now:)

    1. "It was called",sorry about my English.

    2. Love the name of the book, though can't understand why this is dangerous! I'll look up the book on Amazon. Thanks Yael.

  2. I've never heard of a soup like this, I think my husband will love it, thank you for sharing xx

    1. It's really easy to make. Just the egg and lemon needs a bit of care. Hope your husband likes it

  3. Not at all alike, but at this time of year I often make a vegetable soup with knödel, which are small dumplings. Just the thing to keep out the cold.

    1. My grandmother used to make soup with dumplings and I have been thinking about them lately. Now your comment...a sign i need to make dumplings. I will Google knodel

  4. Hi LA. I read somewhere that goats are originally from Asia and don't have protective oils in their coats when it rains or snows.

    1. Interesting. Sheep and goats are kept inside most of the winter here and let out to graze on fine days. I hadn't really thought about it till now. Vaso brings her two goats out on fine days and sits with them till they graze.

  5. Looks like a delicious soup, not much work involved either :)
    Thank you for sharing, it's something I would enjoy.

    1. It is lemony and meatballs are always tasty!!!

  6. I think I had this in Nafplion. It was really nice, someone else ordered it, I didnt know it was eggs and lemons. I pointed to it and said I will have that! lol Its the best way to order food I think! lol

    1. There is a place on the waterfront that you walk in and see the food and order. I wonder if it was there? We go now and again....not so often now. I love the variety and there are always lots of customers so you know it is fresh.

    2. I was high on being bought a bracelet/bangle, in a gold jewellery shop. I remember it being seriously flashy high end. It was our 10th anniversary. Lol The staff probably didnt want to serve us in there as to say the least I was a little wind swept from sailing. Salt crusty hair (think Sideshow Bob in the cartoon the Simpsons), wind burn forehead, salt stained tops. (we were on our way to a hotel that said they would let us have showers, before we went to dinner).

      the next day was the most awful weather (another storm from no where). Its hard work sailing a 38 foot yacht just the 2 of you when the weather is bad. By the afternoon it was blue sky and we got sun burnt! Such is life, eh?!?

      The Mr said we both had that, and huge meatballs with tangy tomato sauce and little fried fish served mixed into rice. and a lot of metaxa, good fun when you then have to stagger over other peoples yachts to get to yours. The boys next to us didnt get that far and went to sleep in the cockpit of a German couple! lol

      Sailing in Greece is great!

    3. Love your description of sailing! You must be young and fit that's for sure . Those spicy meatballs are even better. My traditional husband loves them and so do i even though it's a recipe with Turkish roots.
      Metaxa .....used to drink that. Hell it's firewater, worse than raki. The more stars it has the more fire it has.
      You have some great memories....and some gold!!!

    4. Ha Ha Linda I was young 10 years ago! lol