I made this soup last year during the High Holidays. When I was thinking about what to make for Rosh Hashanah, I looked back to what I did last year—traditions make the holidays, whichever holidays you celebrate. At my house, the honey cake (in my previous post)
is a tradition of long standing. This soup was so good last year I had intended to make it again sometime sooner than now, but I forgot about it. So, a new tradition? Hmm… does twice makes a tradition! At any rate, this soup is very nice; it’s flavorful and homey as well as somewhat exotic~ with the lovely avgolemono sauce.
An irrelevant side-note: did you notice the word avgolemono ends in ‘mono‘ just as many of the Japanese cooking techniques I have on this blog (see my side-bar): agemono, yakimono, nabemono, mushimono, tsukemono, gohanmono! Synchronicity!
I’ve updated the recipe I used last year, adding U.S. measurements—it is difficult to buy 1.1023113 pounds of ground beef here, a volume measurement for the rice, and specifying the amout of water. A Greek acquaintance’s recipe suggests adding ¼ pound ground pork, a bit of dried mint and oregono, a clove of garlic, and seasonal vegetables. Those additions sound good and I would have added them had I found her recipe before I proceeded with mine.
(alternate spelling: Giouvarlakia?)
From a recipe I found online
- 1 pound ground beef (≈ 500 grams)
- 6 Tablespoons raw Arborio rice (≈ 500 grams)
- 1 medium onion, peeled and pureed
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 lemons, zest only
- 1 egg
- 1 fresh bayleaf
- 6 cups water (≈ 1.4 kilograms)
Mix the minced beef, uncooked rice, pureed onion, zest of 2 lemons, salt and pepper with the whole raw egg in a bowl. Mix well and form little walnut sized meatballs by hand. Press the rice firmly into the meat.
Boil the water in a pot with the bay leaf. Slide the meatballs into the water so that they can simmer in the water, on medium heat, for about 30 minutes to ensure that both meatballs and rice are cooked.
Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf and stir in the avgolémono gently, check and correct the salt and pepper, add the parsley and serve hot with bread.
- 2 eggs, separated
- Juice of the 2 lemons above (in soup recipe)
- 1½ cups stock from cooking the meatballs (≈ ¼ kilogram)
This is an unusual way to prepare avgolémono—this is the only recipe that directs the cook to separate the egg and beat the whites and yolks separately. This method makes the sauce lighter. I did not do it this year, and wish I had. My Greek friend adds 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch to stabilize the sauce. I haven’t tried that but she is an excellent cook.
Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are stiff.
Beat the egg yolks and add the lemon juice and the slightly cooled down stock to them bit by bit, stirring constantly.
Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
Now add this sauce to the main dish and fold it in carefully but do not allow it to cook any further.