There is nothing more rewarding than a warm bowl of soup waiting for you in chilly winter days. Yourvarlakia is by far a Greek favourite. It goes without saying, this soup has to be accompanied by egg and lemon sauce, avgolemono.
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Wet and windy winter days do not often give much chance for outdoors activities. It might even get you down a bit, winter blues making you want to hide under the duvet and never get out. Youvarlakia is one of these heart warming dishes, simple and quick to make that will lift the spirits up and fill a hungry tummy.
I distinctly remember playing with this dish in my childhood, more than any other. You see, fragrant little meatballs were swimming in a steaming bowl in front of me. I would gently tap to make them disappear in the broth whilst I was imagining Nessie from the Lochs hiding in the depths of the bowl, then it would be mermaids, not the disney one, we have one more famous: Alexander the Great sister who would be questioning my youvarlakia whether they have seen her brother, as the legend goes. If the youvarlakia had not come across him, they would be drown in swirls of soup. And before 5 minutes of daydreaming have gone by, mum notices me playing and of course I get a good telling off for playing with my food.
Daydreaming or not, food is still my playground, admittedly in a much more grown up way. Now I get to enjoy the binding of ingredients and aroma of spices. Forming meatballs is as good as meditation to me. But let’s get you all warmed up with soup.
- 500 g beef mince
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp of barley or rice
- A small bunch of parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1 egg
- 2 eggs
- 1 lemon
- You will first need to grate your onion, finely chop your parsley and mash the garlic cloves through the press.
- In a large bowl, mix the mince meat with the herbs, salt and pepper to taste, rice, barley and one beaten egg.
- Form the mixture into walnut sized balls.
- In a large pot, warm up the butter and give your youvarlakia a quick browning to keep them firm for cooking.
- Add enough water to cover them and bring to the boil.
- Yourvarlakia will be ready after 30 minutes in the pot on medium heat
- Beat the eggs lightly
- add a half your broth, slowly, and the lemon juice
- Return the avgolemono in the pot and cook in very low heat for a few minutes
- serve immediately with a bit of parsley and freshly ground pepper.
I hope you enjoy. If you are a tomato fan, there is a red sauce version of this soup too! Check it out here.
Do you have favourite winter warmers? Let me know in the comments.
From Athens with love,