This recipe was inspired by the classic Greek avgolemono soup, a concoction of lemon, chicken broth, egg, and rice. The soup has a definitive lemon flavor, but the fresh mint and lamb meatballs add a richness that balances and grounds the assertiveness of the citrus.
|12 ounces||ground sirloin of lamb|
|1 large||egg (beaten)|
|1 teaspoon||dried oregano|
|1 teaspoon||chopped fresh mint|
|1/4 cup||minced shallot|
|1 1/2 teaspoons||salt|
|1/4 teaspoon||freshly ground pepper|
|1/2 teaspoon||grated lemon zest|
|1/2 cup||brown jasmine rice|
|6 cups||hot chicken stock (divided)|
|1 1/2 cups||water|
|2 large||egg yolks|
|2/3 cup||fresh lemon juice|
|1 teaspoon||grated lemon zest|
|2 teaspoons||chopped fresh mint|
|coarse (kosher) salt (to taste)|
|Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)|
Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to blend thoroughly. Form the mixture into tiny, bite-sized balls, no more than 1/2 inch in diameter. Set aside.
Place the rice in a medium pan and add 1-1/2 cups chicken stock and the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is just tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Transfer half of the rice to a blender. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and purée until smooth. Add the egg yolks and lemon juice, and blend briefly.
Pour the contents of the blender into a large saucepan and add the remaining rice and chicken stock (3-1/2 cups). Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
Add the meatballs and simmer until they're cooked, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the lemon zest and the remaining mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.