This meatball soup with a lemony egg sauce is a traditional Greek dish that we usually make in the winter months or when the weather is cold. It is a soup that combines iron and protein from ground meat, but also many vitamins since it has lots of vegetables in. In my house, we love soups and youvarlakia is one of our favorites, for both little ones and adults. In this Greek meatball soup recipe here, you will find a soup that has a lot of vegetables in it along with the meatballs and it’s thick and lemony from the egg sauce that we add in the end. So let’s get started!
Why you should try my recipe
- Very easy to make and the perfect comfort food for cold weather.
- Nice combination of protein and vitamins from all the vegetables.
- Serves a big family or you can store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Great idea for little children to eat their veggies and meat.
Ingredients and How-to
The ingredients you will need to make this Greek lemony meatball soup are: ground beef, onions, garlic, short-grain rice, parsley, dill, carrot, potato, celery, egg, lemons, cornflower, salt and pepper. The recipe has three stages, first we prepare the meatballs, then cut all the vegetables and start cooking the soup and finally prepare the egg lemon sauce.
01. To prepare the meatballs for the Greek meatball soup, I start with adding the onion to a food processor with a tablespoon of olive oil. I mix it for a few seconds until it’s chopped finely. You could also chop the onion very finely with a knife or grate it, but I find that it’s faster and easier to use a small food processor if you have one.
02. Then, I add to a big bowl the ground beef, blended onion, garlic, parsley, rice and season with salt and pepper. The use of rice is essential here, as it’s what is holding the meatballs together from falling apart. I’m using short grain rice, any short grain type will do the job as you can find different types in each country. As for the meat, you could use ground beef or a mix of ground beef and pork. Again, it is up to you and your preference.
03. I mix everything well to combine all the ingredients and then, I move into shaping the meatballs. Try not to make the meatballs too big as they will get bigger when the rice is cooked. I usually get around 18 to 20 meatballs with this recipe.
04. When the meatballs are ready, leave them on the side and start preparing the rest of the vegetables for the soup. I cut the carrots into cubes, same with the potatoes and the celery. There is no need for perfection here, as this is a soup in the end.
05. Now it’s time to move to the stove. As always, I start with sautéing a chopped onion for a few minutes until it softens and all the sweetness comes out. Then, I add the carrot, celery and potatoes, and give it a stir.
06. Then, I place the meatballs on top of the veggies. Make sure the pot you are using is wide enough to fit all the meatballs. I add enough water to cover the meatballs and season with salt and pepper. To cook, I cover with a lid and leave it on medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes until the rice is cooked and all the veggies are soft.
07. Don’t forget to occasionally check the soup in case you need to add some more water, as each stove is different. When it’s cooked I turn off the heat and it’s time to prepare the egg lemony sauce aka avgolemono that is going to make the meatball soup creamy and delicious!
08. For the lemony egg sauce, I’m using one egg, one tablespoon of cornstarch that is going to help to thicken the soup, some fresh dill and 1-2 lemons depending on how lemony you prefer your soup. First, I separate the yolk from the white and put them in two different bowls. I whisk the egg white until it’s frothy, but you don’t need to go to the point you get stiff peaks. In the bowl where I put the egg yolk, I add the lemon juice, finely chopped dill and cornstarch and mix it well to avoid any lumps. You could leave out the cornstarch, if you prefer a more runny soup.
Now, I combine both bowls, the one with the egg yolk mixture and the egg white. Then using a ladle, I add 2-3 spoons at a time to the eggs mixture in a thin stream while I constantly whisk. The key here is to slowly bring up the temperature of the egg. Then, I transfer the mixture to the pot and turn on the heat. I leave it for just one minute or until it starts boiling and then turn off the heat again. The soup is now ready!
We usually have this Greek meatball soup as a main with a slice of bread on the side. As a side dish, you could have some broccoli, kale or green beans salad with an olive oil and lemon dressing.
If you are sharing the soup with little ones, try to reduce the amount of salt when preparing the soup. You could always add a pinch of salt in your plate after you serve. Little ones that can’t use cutlery very well yet, can just hold the meatballs with their little fingers and bite them and you could help them out with the soup or offer it in a cup to drink.
If you have any leftovers, you could store the youvarlakia soup in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. When you are ready to eat, just warm it up in the microwave or the stove for 2-3 minutes until it’s warm enough.
What type of ground meat can I use for the meatball soup? For the meatball soup, you could use either ground beef or a combination of ground beef and pork.
What vegetables can I add to a meatball soup? You could add lots of vegetables to the meatball soup to make it more nutritious and healthy. Some of the vegetables I like to add are carrots, potatoes, celery and celeriac.
Is the greek meatball soup suitable for babies? The Greek meatball soup is great for babies and little ones as it’s very healthy and full of iron. For babies under 12 months, avoid adding any salt when preparing the soup. For little ones that cannot handle cutlery very well yet, you could serve the meatballs cut in half so they can grab them and eat them with their hands, and the soup in a cup to drink or with some breadsticks.
Other Recipes to Try
If you liked my Greek lemony meatball soup recipe, check out these recipes too
Watch the Video
Greek Meatball Soup - YouvarlakiaThis Greek meatball soup is what you need to warm your belly on a cold day. It's full of protein and vitamins from the ground meat and all the veggies. Great for the whole family! Serve it with a slice of bread and some steamed veggies on the side. Enjoy!
- 400gr / 0.9lb ground beef
- 1-2 carrots
- 2 onions
- 1 garlic clove
- 3-4 sticks of celery
- 1 potato
- bunch of parsley
- bunch of dill
- 1/2 cup short-grain rice
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1-2 lemons
- 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Start with preparing the meatballs. Add one of the onions to a food processor with a tablespoon of olive oil or use a grater or finely cut with a knife.
- In a bowl, add the ground beef, onion, chopped garlic, finely chopped parsley and rice. Season with salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients well and shape them into a round shape.
- Prepare the vegetables for the soup. Cut the carrots and potatoes into cubes, slice the celery sticks, cut the onion into cubes.
- In a big pot, sauté the onion with the olive oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and place the meatballs on top.
- Add enough water to cover the meatballs. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and cook on medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes until the meatballs are cooked and veggies are soft.
- For the lemony egg sauce, separate the yolk from the white. In a bowl add the yolk, the juice from 1-2 lemons, the cornstarch and finely chopped dill. Mix well so there are no cornstarch lumps left.
- Whisk the egg white for a few minutes until it's frothy. Add the yolk mixture to the same bowl. Using a ladle, add 2-3 spoons of the soup broth at a time to the egg mixture while you keep whisking.
- Transfer the lemony egg sauce to the pot with the soup. Turn on the heat again and leave it for a minute or until it starts boiling and then turn it off. The soup is ready.
- You could use ground beef or ground pork or a mix of both.
- Cornstarch acts as a thickening agent for the soup. If you prefer it more runny then you could leave it out.
If you have any leftovers, you could store the Greek meatball soup in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When you are ready to consume, just warm it up in the microwave or a pot for 2-3 minutes.
Nutrition Info (per serving)
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.