[125] Greek Lemon Soup – Meatless Monday

Cover of The Joy of Cooking (1997 reprint of 1975 edition)

Have I mentioned I’m resolved to try to participate in “Meatless Mondays”? I’m doing it mostly for personal health reasons (I’d also like to lose some weight and such), but also environmental reasons. Finally, it’s a surprisingly large challenge for me. I count anything with a face as “meat” and I aim to be completely meatless one day a week. So this means no fish, no fowl, no mammals in the most obvious form – meat – but also in less obvious forms, such as broth and stock.

I’m not always good at this. It’s been touch and go since I started the challenge. I haven’t managed it every week, but I think I’ve managed more weeks than I haven’t. Of course, since I hadn’t been tracking this in any way until a couple of weeks ago, I can’t actually say.

And by “not always good at this”, I mean I can sometimes plan a meal for Meatless Monday and completely miss the fact that the recipe calls for stock. Like I did for today’s soup “Greek Lemon Soup” out of Joy of Cooking. Oops. Luckily, I had vegetable stock around, and that turned out to be a fine substitute (though noticeably different than I was expecting).

So, today’s meal was Vegetarian Greek Lemon Soup and fresh baked bread.

h2. Ingredients

3 c stock (Calls for chicken; I used vegetable.)
3/4 c cooked rice or cooked fine noodles

2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice or wine (Seriously. It just says wine. No other descriptor.)

2 eggs

h2. Instructions

Mix the stock and the rice, and bring to a roiling boil. While waiting for the stock to boil, beat together the lemon juice and eggs, just until they are basically uniform in color. It’d be smart to do this in a measuring cup or other container with both a spout and a handle.

Once the stock and rice are boiling vigorously, dip out about 2 tbsp of the stock, and temper the eggs by slowly dribbling it into the egg mixture while stirring constantly. Once the eggs are tempered, pour the egg mixture into the stock/rice mixture, slowly and from rather high up. This should allow the eggs to “shred” and became something like that soup you got as a kid at Chinese restaurants.

h2. Cooking and Consumption Notes

h3. Cooking

This? This is super easy. The hardest part, for me, was cooking the rice. I used white rice, and I’m good at making white rice, so even that was a breeze.

I used the full 3 tbsp of lemon, and I’m glad I did. This soup had a potent lemon flavor that was on par with what I remembered lemony, “Greek” soups to be.

A great deal of the rice seems to dissolve in this soup, and the color goes from fairly clear to somewhat opaque. I have no idea if that was a mistake I made or if that’s normal.

h3. Consumption

This was simple, and very tasty. I would say, however, that if you aren’t avoiding meat for whatever reason, use the chicken stock. I think it would just taste a touch better.

That said, the instructions in JoC call for the soup to be served immediately, and I would not do so. Immediately upon serving, the veggie flavor of the stock was more potent than even just a couple of minutes in. This could have been just me getting used to it, but I think it was actually that the flavors were simply melding a bit better, and the acid of the lemon was toning down the intense VEGGIES!!!! flavor.

I would use brown rice next time I make this. I think the grains will hold up better.

Finally, this meal was surprisingly filling. I had a slice and a half of homemade bread and maybe a cup of soup (maybe less). I filled up just as I was finishing off the soup and haven’t had an urge for snacks or dessert.

So, overall, a win. I’ll make it again. With chicken stock.

One thought on “[125] Greek Lemon Soup – Meatless Monday

  1. That would be my biggest problem with meatless days. At first I thought it would be so easy to do – just make soup on Mondays! But most of my soup recipes, even the vegetable ones, start with chicken stock. I’m sure most would be fine with a veggie stock substitution, but they wouldn’t taste right to me. I think the solution is to learn completely new soup recipes and use vegetable stock from the start, to train my tastebuds not to expect an undercurrent of chickeniness.

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