Foodie James, from Encore Events Centre, shares his Yia Yia’s (Greek for Grandmother) chicken soup – it’s a Greek peasant style classic called Youvarlakia. The combination of chicken meatballs and rice in a lemony, creamy sauce is delicious!
For the meatballs (youvarlakia)
- 500g lean minced chicken
- ¼ of a cup long-grain rice
- ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 medium sized onion, grated
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 3 tbsps fresh dill, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 2tbls chopped parsley to sprinkle over finished soup
- 4tbls rice – to add to stock
For the egg lemon sauce (Avgolemono)
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- juice of 2 lemons
To prepare this Greek meatball soup, start by making the meatballs (youvarlakia). Place all the meatball ingredients into a large bowl, knead the mixture squeezing the ingredients with your hand until smooth. Leave the mixture to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. This will prevent the youvarlakia from breaking up when boiled. Form the meatballs (youvarlakia) and set them aside.
Pour into a large pan 2 ½ cups of water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and gently add the meatballs (youvarlakia) in the water, put the lid back on and cook for 20-25 minutes. (The water should be enough to cover the meatballs, so add some more warm water if needed). Add the extra rice to liquid.
To prepare the egg lemon sauce for the Greek meatball soup, crack the egg and add yolk and lemon juice and into a bowl and whisk over the soup. Whisk well, the aim is to use the heat from the soup to heat the egg mix.
Do not over beat as eggs will cook, then you have lemon flavoured scrambled eggs. Add a ladle of hot soup into the bowl and whisk quickly. Add one more ladle and whisk again until combined.
Stir in the egg lemon sauce into the youvarlakia soup over medium heat. Allow the soup to warm but not boil then remove from heat.
Serve up and top with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.