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Traditional Greek meatball soup (Giouvarlakia)

Giouvarlakia is among the favourite Greek dishes, full of tales and scents from the East. In fact, its name actually derives from the Turkish language and it means «round», which is the also the shape of each delicious bite of minced meat, rice, and her

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients for four persons:

  • 500 gr. minced beef (ground twice)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped spearmint
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of yogurt
  • Salt and pepper

For the soup

Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a big bowl and use your hands to mix them together until they become a smooth mixture, with an intense spearmint scent. Then, place the bowl in the fridge for about 10 minutes, in order for the mixture to become firm and thus, easier to mold.

Straight away, take a wide pot and heat the olive oil. Add the onion, the celery and the carrots and cook for a minute, until the olive oil makes them translucent. Add the tomato paste and carefully stir, scratching the bottom of the pot. When ready, deglaze with ouzo and wait for the alcohol to evaporate, before adding the rest of the ingredients and waiting for them to come to a boil. In the meantime, the mixture in the fridge should already be firm, so we are ready to shape it into small, walnut sized meatballs. When finished, put them in the boiling stock.

Lower the heat and cook the meatball soup for 30 minutes. When the time is up, taste them in case they need more salt and season accordingly. Put the pot aside to cool down and serve with fresh bread, feta cheese, and yogurt.

If you want to make the recipe more filling, add two potatoes to the soup.