Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rainy Summer Day Soup

Something beautiful happens in Fort Lauderdale during summer afternoons.

Miles to our west, out over the Everglades, dark knots of clouds begin to swell around one o'clock. They crowd east, slowly. The sun is shining through my window, but I hear a sigh of thunder in the distance.

The light fades to gray around two o'clock and a flicker of lightening makes me blink. Rain streaks my window. The streets below go quiet. I can't see the building next door.

I am cozy, nestled in the privacy of water and white noise.

In these snuggly, dim minutes, I yawn and smile. Some soup would be nice. The kind that you eat cross-legged, wearing socks but no shoes, while staring out the window into the blowing rain.

Eventually, the western sky blotches. The light warms to yellow again. My phone is ringing. The street comes back to life.

But I still want the soup.

Tangy Lemon-Egg Soup with Tiny Meatballs
Adapted from this recipe in Food & Wine Magazine

The original version of this recipe calls for ground lamb instead of ground turkey, and for mint instead of parsley. Since I wanted to use what I had on hand, I adapted the recipe slightly.

1/2 cup medium-grain white rice
3 cups water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
4 cups chicken stock
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound lean ground turkey
1/3 cup sweet onion, minced
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons finely chopped dill, plus dill sprigs for garnish
1 1/4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
All-purpose flour, for dusting

In a large saucepan, bring the rice to a boil in 3 cups of salted water. Simmer over moderate heat until the rice is tender and the water is nearly absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Transfer 1/2 cup of the rice to a food processor and spread the remaining rice on a plate.

Add the chicken stock to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Ladle 1 cup of the hot stock into the food processor, cover and puree until the rice is smooth. With the machine on, add the egg yolks and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the mixture into the stock and keep warm over low heat.

In a medium bowl, mix the ground turkey with the onion, parsley, 2 tablespoons of the dill, 1/4 teaspoon of the lemon zest, 1 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls.

Lightly dust the meatballs with flour, tapping off any excess, and drop them into the warm soup. Increase the heat to medium and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved rice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of dill and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with dill sprigs and serve.


Foodycat said...

Avgolemono is my favourite soup when I have been ill and am starting to recover! This version with the meatballs sounds far too good to wait until next time I am sick!

Sarah said...

I love it too! It's a happy-tasting soup. The meatballs are a nice addition, and frankly, I think that lamb would have been too greasy for this dish. The turkey was far more discreet and delicate.

Foodycat said...

Yes, I think turkey sounds just about perfect. I think the texture of chicken mince would be wrong, and lamb would be too rich a flavour.

liz said...

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah:

I LOVE this and I don't even cook! The site looks wonderful, pictures are great and the desciptions awesome. Really fun site and you should be proud of yourself.

Keep it up and I will pass it on.

Grace said...

tiny meatballs are clearly the best kind of meatballs. and to me, soup (particularly soup as awesome as this) is appropriate no matter how frickin' hot and humid it is outside. :)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I really like this soup a lot! It looks wonderful! I think I prefer the turkey meatballs too.

I'm really enjoying your site. It's always nice to find another Florida neighbor.