My Goodness, this soup is delicious! We make it often in the fall and early spring, and in winter we have it once a week. No one gets tired of it. It is a popular Greek recipe, but my mother has modified it a bit. She has made this version all her own. First of all, the little meatballs that go in the soup are traditionally made with ground beef. My mother substitutes ground turkey for the beef. This makes the soup healthier and also gives it a lighter taste. Second, avgolemono (or egg and lemon sauce), is traditionally incorporated into the soup before it is served. My mother
forgoes the use of the sauce. The addition of eggs makes the soup higher in cholesterol, so my mother decided to omit the eggs. She still however uses lemon in the broth. Third, mom adds her own blend of flavorings, including her secret ingredient, which is slowly becoming my own secret ingredient too. What you might ask is this secret ingredient? Shh... don't tell, but it's soy sauce. Not too many Greeks are hip to the addition of soy sauce in their cooking, but my 83 year old mommy has always been a trail blazer. Years ago, Ton, a student from Thailand lived with my parents for a few years. Mom noticed that he loved to flavor his meals with soy sauce. Soon she started experimenting with it, and the rest is history. History to the extent that... a bottle of light soy sauce is carefully packed in her suitcase every year when she and my father are off to spend the summer months at their house in Greece.
- 1&1/2 pounds of turkey ground beef
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1teaspoon baking powder
- 2 or 3 dashes of light soy sauce
- 1/2 cup rice
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 1 tablespoon dill
- 1 tablespoon mint
- flour for dredging meatballs
- another onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon farina
- 2 tablespoons trahana
- 1 tablespoon rice
- juice of one large lemon
- 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Mix the first 12 ingredients together.
- Cover a large tray with flour. Form the meatballs: they should be larger than marbles, smaller than golf balls. OK with those measurements? Place each meatball on the flour and roll it around to cover it with flour.
- Fill a large pot with 5 cups of water. Add the chicken broth, the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, the lemon juice, and don't forget: you have to add a couple of dashes of soy sauce.
- Bring liquid to boil. Once it boils add the farina, the rice, the trahana and the chopped onion.
- Drop the meatball dumplings into the liquid. Once it comes back to the boil lower the heat to simmer and cover the pot.
- Cook for about half an hour. The broth will thicken because of the addition of the farina, rice and trahana. It will have a nice lemony smell and taste. The rice in the meatball dumplings will have cooked, and you will see it appear soft and puffed up. At this point the soup is ready to serve and eat. I hope you enjoy it!
Bastille is patiently waiting for her share.