Creamy Egg & Lemon Soup with Meatballs

Adapted from Sunset Serves 4 to 6



Making the Meatballs Combine 1 beaten egg, milk, panko, garlic, lemon zest, mint, parsley, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and let it rest for a few minutes so that the panko can begin to soak up the milk. Add the ground meat by crumbling it in your hands into the bowl, then mix everything together thoroughly.

Form tiny meatballs - about 1/2" to 3/4" in diameter or 10 g each by weight - and set aside. In a large, preferably cast-iron skillet, heat about a tablespoon of oil over moderate heat. Fry the meatballs in batches, being careful not to overcrowd, until golden brown and remove to a dish.

Making the Soup In a medium pot, bring both broths and strips of zest to a simmer. Add the rice and cover partially, simmering for about 20 minutes until the rice is al dente. Remove the zest ribbons and discard. Add the meatballs and return to a simmer then remove from the heat.

Whisk the three eggs together well in a large bowl then whisk in the lemon juice. Slowly pour in about 1/2 cup of the soup, whisking constantly.1 Repeat four times. Pour the egg-broth mixture into the soup and serve immediately.2

I recommend serving this soup with a small salad and a slice of crusty bread to sop up the last drops.


  1. This is called tempering the eggs. If you add the eggs into the hot soup, they will curdle. By adding hot liquid slowly into the eggs while whisking, we can control the temperature. It seems kind of finicky but it's necessary and will result in a deliciously creamy soup.
  2. If it isn't hot enough for you, you can gently rewarm it over low heat but DO NOT allow it to simmer or boil. The eggs will curdle and all that hard work you did tempering will be for naught.

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