Lemon meatball soup

AKA Ekşili köfte, AKA the taste of my childhood. There’s nothing quite like it on the comfort food scale for me or my siblings, and it’s one of the only recipes I ever managed to get my father to write down (it says helpful things like ‘carrots’ as you can see further down the page). I absolutely love it.


250g beef mince

250g lamb mince

1 cup basmati rice

2 onions

1 cup Plain flour

1 handful parsley

500g floury potatoes

500g carrots

Salt & pepper

2 eggs

2 lemons


  1. Grate the onions into a large bowl, add in both types of mince, plenty of seasoning, finely chopped parsley and rice. Use your hands to mix it really well, squishing the whole lot to really work the meat and other ingredients together.
  2. Roll into balls, approximately walnut sized, and pop them onto a chopping board.
  3. Put a cup (ish) of plain flour into a bowl and roll a few of the meatballs around at a time (gently) until well covered, and return them to the board and continue until the whole lot are covered.
  4. In a large saucepan, bring 2 litres of water to the boil, then really gently drop in the meatballs, along with any flour that’s hanging about on the chopping board. Give it a stir and bring back to the boil.
  5. In the mean time, peel the veg, chop the potatoes into large chunks, and carrots into 2cm rounds. Add into the pot with seasoning, stir, and leave to cook for 10 minutes or so.
  6. When the potatoes are cooked, remove the pot from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  7. In a jug, whisk up the eggs with the lemon juice, then slowly – very slowly – add ladlefuls of the soup and keep whisking.
  8. When you have a jugful of warm egg-lemon-soup, pour it into the saucepan with the rest of the now-cooled-a-bit soup and stir to combine. Gently heat a little if you need it hotter, but you don’t want to end up with stringy eggy bits.
  9. Tuck in and return for seconds.

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