Meatball Soup with Egg and Lemon

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 40m

Serves 6

Avgolemono is the Greek term for the classic Mediterranean egg-and-lemon mixture used as a thickener for soups or stews. In Turkey, the same blend is called terbiyeli. While simple versions of this soup include just rice, and others call for chicken and rice, leeks and celery and even fish, the most interesting and filling interpretations feature these little meatballs.


  • 1 pound ground lean beef or lamb, minced
  • 1 cup grated or finely minced onion
  • 6 tablespoons uncooked long-grain white rice or 1/2 cup fine dried bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or dill
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


In a bowl, combine the meat, onion, rice or bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of the parsley, the mint or dill and 1 of the eggs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using your hands, knead the mixture until well mixed. Form the mixture into tiny meatballs about 1/2 inch in diameter.

Bring the stock to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently until the meatballs are cooked, about 25-30 minutes.

Beat the remaining 2 eggs until very frothy in a bowl. Gradually beat in the lemon juice. Then gradually beat in about 1 1/2 cups of the hot soup, beating constantly to prevent curdling. (This step tempers the eggs so that they won’t scramble when added to the soup.) Continue to beat until thickened, then slowly stir the egg mixture into the hot soup. Heat through, but do not allow the soup to boil.

Ladle into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parsley and serve hot.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 673

nutrition information per serving

324 calories; 10g total fat; 134mg cholesterol; 263mg sodium; 30g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 28g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

Sign Up for Newsletters Here

Delicious recipes, easy meal ideas and holiday inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.