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Tangy Lemon-Egg Soup with Tiny Meatballs

With its blend of chicken stock and vitamin-C-rich lemon, this restorative soup (inspired by the classic Greek lemon-egg soup avgolemono) is a good way to fight colds or the flu.

slideshow Warming Soup Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/2 cup medium-grain white rice
  • 3 cups water
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound lean ground lamb or turkey
  • 1/3 cup sweet onion, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped dill, plus dill sprigs for garnish
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting


  1. In a large saucepan, cover the rice with the water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the rice is tender and the water is nearly absorbed, about 15 minutes. Transfer 1/2 cup of the rice to a blender and spread the remaining rice on a plate.
  2. Add the chicken stock to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add 1 cup of the hot stock to the blender, cover and puree until the rice is smooth. With the machine on, add the egg yolks and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the mixture into the stock and keep warm over low heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the lamb with the onion, mint, 2 tablespoons of the dill, 1/4 teaspoon of the lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls.
  4. Lightly dust the meatballs with flour, tapping off any excess, and drop them into the warm soup. Increase the heat to moderate and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved rice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of dill and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with dill sprigs and serve.

Make Ahead

The soup and meatballs can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated separately for up to 8 hours. Return the meatballs to room temperature before proceeding.


One Serving 325 cal, 13 gm fat, 2.5 gm saturated fat, 25 gm carb, 1 gm fiber.

Contributed By Photo © Dana Gallagher Published January 2005

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