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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spinach and Lemon Soup With Meatballs


Classic Middle Eastern by Soheila Kimberley

Taste 3 (out of 5)

Difficulty 2 (out of 5)


- 2 large onions

- 45 ml / 3 tablespoons of oil

- 15 ml / 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric

- 225 g / 8 oz / 2 cups of minced lamb

- 450 g / 1 lb of spinach, chopped

- 90 g / 3 1/2 oz / 1/2 cup yellow split peas

- 50 g / 2 oz / 1/2 cup of rice flour

- juice of 2 lemons

- 4 eggs, beaten

- salt and freshly ground black pepper

- 1-2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

- 30 ml / 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint or spinach

My changes:

I used beef instead of lamb, cornstarch instead of rice flour and 8 egg whites instead of 4 eggs.

Also, I cooked the garlic together with other ingredients and not separately for the garnish.


1. Chop one onion. Heat 30 ml / 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion until golden. Add the turmeric, split peas and 1.2 litters / 5 cups of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

2. Grate the other onion. Put it into a mixing bowl, add the minced lamb and seasoning and mix well. Using your hands, form the mixture into small meatballs, about the size of walnuts. Carefully add to the saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes, then add the chopped spinach, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Mix the flour with 250 ml / 1 cup of cold water to make a smooth paste. Then slowly add it to the saucepan, stirring all the time to prevent lumps forming. Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and cook over a gentle heat for 20 minutes.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a small pan and fry the garlic until golden. Stir in the mint and remove the pan from the heat. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the beaten aggs. Sprinkle the garlic and mint garnish over the soup and serve.


Turned out a little too sour, maybe can use juice of 1 or 1.5 lemons next time.

I mixed the cornstarch with cold water a bit in advance, and it kept forming lumps at the bottom, at least until I mixed it into the soup (then, who knows). But now looking at some sites, it seems that cornstarch separates from water eventually, so maybe the mixing should be done right before adding to the soup and not in advance.

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