Yes, my soup is pink. I could say I did that on purpose for Valentine’s Day but alas, I did not.
First, purple carrots = pink soup. If you like it, use ’em. If not, then use regular carrots. Woops!
I want to say that I’ve found this wonderful, wonderful blog that I’m in love with. It’s called Amateur Cook Professional Eater and I just can’t get enough of it. I want to make all the recipes right this second. The writer I believe is Greek, and many of the recipes are Greek inspired or Greek homemade favorites. Needless to say this isn’t a recipe blog full of dishes you’ll find at your average Greek restaurant here in the US. Many of the dishes are simple, some are not, and all of them look really delicious. I hope everyone is ready for more Mediterranean, because I will be revisiting this site for inspiration!
I started with this Greek soup recipe because it’s winter and it’s cold, so I wanted something warm to eat, but goodness I don’t think I can eat another bite of heavy stew. I have had the lemony rice soup at Greek restaurants before, and even tried to make it myself once (ended up scrambling the eggs and never tried it again). I never would have even though to put some cubed meat in there. I also added some fresh thyme at the end because I had some in my fridge and lemon and thyme go together. It turned out really good! The egg makes the soup creamy but still light and delicate.
The hardest thing with this dish is getting the egg situation right. You have to temper the eggs or else they will scramble, and you will have tiny bits of scrambled egg in your soup instead of a very delicate and delicious creaminess. I started by pulling my eggs out of the fridge first thing so they would be room temperature by the time I got to beating them. I also beat them over the steamy pot a little bit to continue to warm them (though this step is probably not necessary). The most important thing is to not let the soup boil during or after the adding of the egg.
This also makes reheating tricky. Warming it up gently on the stove will clearly work. The microwave is a different ball game. I microwaved it at half power (at a 5) for 45 seconds, then stopped and stirred, 45 more seconds, then stopped and stirred, and then about another 30 seconds until I saw it was starting to bubble at the sides. If you see it bubbling at the sides at any point in microwaving then pull it out and stir it. Do this until it’s as hot as you want it.
Greek Lemon Soup with Venison
|Website||Amateur Cook Professional Eater|
- 1-1.5lb venison stew meat (tenderized to cut boiling time, if you want to)
- 2 leeks (green leaves removed, white and light green part thinly sliced)
- 2 stalks celery (finely chopped)
- 3 carrots (diced)
- 3 Small red potatoes (diced)
- 1/2 cup brown rice (give or take, or you can use white rice to cut cooking time)
- salt and pepper to taste
- zest of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (plucked from the stems)
- 2 eggs (separated)
- juice of 2 lemons
|Start by rinsing your stew meat well, put it in a pot, and enough water to cover, at least 4 cups. Bring to a boil, then simmer the meat until it is tender, about 45 minutes untenderized, or about 10-15 minutes if it's tenderized, long enough to cook it through. Season with a heavy hand of salt and some pepper. Some scuzzy foam will likely float to the top. Skim it off with a slotted spoon. Meanwhile, chop your veggies. When the meat is tender, add all the veggies, rice and the zest to the pot and simmer until the rice is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes. White rice will take about 10 - 15 minutes. If you are using white rice, make sure the veggies have also cooked through.|
|Once everything in the pot is nice and tender, turn off the heat (but you can leave it on the burner). Give it a few good stirs to get the simmering down. While it cools slightly, beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Then, while beating, add the yolks until well incorporated, then the lemon juice. At this point, make sure your soup is not boiling. Get about 1/2 - 1 cup of broth and slowly add it to the egg mixture as you are beating it. Then stir all of that into the pot of soup, being careful not to let the soup come to a boil after you add the egg mixture. Add the fresh thyme at this point, and set a little aside for garnish if you like.|
Non game substitution: Cubed beef is what the original recipe called for, so you can use that.
Vegetarian substitution: Naturally you will still have a very delicious soup if you use veg broth and omit the meat.