You might argue that, of all the ways to enjoy a meatball, they are at their most comfortable when they are floating in broth.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with spaghetti with red sauce, miso and Ritz crackers, or any of the other approximately 45,000,000+ meatball varieties that exist.
I guess it’s simply that scooping up a piece of meatballs in a hot soup feels tremendously relaxing in a neat, quiet sort of manner, which is the polar opposite of a chaotic and gleefully messy sub, in a way that I can’t quite put into words.
This lemony Greek meatball soup, a twist on the classic youvarlakia avgolemono, seems to be simmering in relative silence in the pot. Despite this, every spoonful is bursting with flavour, from the citrus and dill brightness to the depth of the chicken stock and the velvety richness of the egg yolk.
When we think of avgolemono soup in the United States, we usually think of it as a soup cooked with bits of chicken and grains of rice. However, in Greece, adding meatballs to the soup is just as customary as it is in other parts of the world. This recipe uses ground chicken instead of the traditional beef, which makes the dish a little lighter overall. Ground turkey may be used in the same way.
As anytime you create meatballs, employing a soft touch stops them from going rubbery. This is due to the fact that the more you knead and push ground beef, the more it sticks to itself. When it comes to certain dishes (such as kebabs, where you want the meat to stick to the skewer so it doesn’t fall into the fire), vigorous kneading is required; nonetheless, it is the enemy of fluffy, soft meatballs that float elegantly in broth.
Here’s another piece of advice: It is important to properly chill the meatballs before adding them to the boiling liquid to prevent them from coming apart. Cooking the meatballs ahead of time and keeping them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve the soup is another an option.
However, do not attempt to prepare the avgolemono mixture too far in advance. As the mixture rests, the delicate emulsion of eggs and lemon may begin to break down. If possible, mix the ingredients together before pouring them straight into the soup immediately before serving. This egg emulsion also has the side effect of making leftovers difficult to freeze.
In addition to a handful of baby spinach (or other delicate greens) tossed into the pot approximately five minutes before the avgolemono mixture is added, a handful of kale (or other tender greens) is also a good addition. This also provides an opportunity for the greens to soften without the danger of curdling. Because, although adaptable meatballs may handle high heat, it is the careful preparation of your avgolemono that ensures the silkiest, most exquisite broth available.