I absolutely love this Greek meatball soup aka Youvarlakia Avgolemono ( γιουβαρλακια αυγολεμονο)! I feel I make this at least twice a month. Always serve with some nice hard bread for dipping. It’s fairly easy to make and is sure to satisfy your taste buds.
Stews and soups, especially in an avgolemono sauce, are very popular in Greece. One of my favorite dishes, Youvarlakia Avgolemono (Greek meatball soup), combines everything I love about a hearty soup with the light and zesty flavors that I enjoy from a Mediterranean dish.
Greek Meatball Soup
I am always creative with the meatball piece of the dish. Sometimes I add in some pine nuts along with the Greek orzo or rice. You can also experiment with herbs here as they subtly shine through the sauce when you least expect it. Adding in parsley is wonderful, but substituting that for dill or oregano is also fabulous in this recipe. You can use a little of each or none at all and the flavors are still magical.
If you want to make this a touch healthier, opt for ground turkey instead of beef (don’t skimp on the herbs in this case as they will add flavor to the bland taste of turkey). Also, I don’t think leaving out the flour will hurt too much. Your broth may be a bit thinner but that doesn’t bother me much. It truly is a matter of preference.
My favorite thing to pair with this Greek meatball soup is a freshly packaged baguette from the market. I like to get the ones that you can bake yourself in about 8 minutes. The crisp and lightly brown bread makes for a perfect dipping agent and truly soaks up all of the savory liquid in the bowl with ease.
καλή όρεξη! (Kali orexi – enjoy your meal!)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ⅓ cup uncooked orzo (or rice)
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 1-2 chopped garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 5-8 cups chicken broth*
- for the Avgolemono Sauce:
- 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 2 lemons squeezed (more to taste)
- In a large bowl, combine: beef, rice, onion, garlic, parsley, Sea salt, pepper and egg.
- Mix all Ingredients well (use your hands!).
- Now, take a bowl and add your flour to it. This will coat the meatballs.
- Roll the meat mixture into small balls and then roll it around in the flour (shaking off any excess flour).
- Place the meatball in the pot and repeat until meat mixture is finished.
- Fill the pot with chicken broth so the broth goes about an inch above the meatballs.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer for 30 - 45 min or until meat is cooked.
- Once meat is cooked, remove meatballs and set aside.
- Prepare Avgo/ Egg-Lemon Sauce:
- Crack eggs into a bowl and beat until frothy (a few minutes).
- One frothy, stop and add in lemon juice.
- Take 1½ cups of hot broth and slowly pour into lemon-egg mixture, continually stirring.**
- Pour lemon-egg mixture into pot with rest of broth and mix well-should be creamy (see picture above).
- Add meatballs back in and bring to simmer and remove from heat.
- Place some meatballs in a bowl and ladle some of the Avgolemono sauce from the pot over them.
- Serve your delicious Greek meatball soup.
**This is important. Don’t forget this part or the eggs will curdle when you add back in!
- You can also experiment with herbs here as they subtly shine through the sauce when you least expect it. Adding in parsley is wonderful, but substituting that for dill or oregano is also fabulous in this recipe.
- If you want to make this a touch healthier, opt for ground turkey instead of beef (don’t skimp on the herbs in this case as they will add flavor to the turkey).