Prep Time
1 Hour 15 Mins
Yield
Serves 6 (makes 8 cups)
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kevin Crafts

How to Make It

Step 1

Make meatballs: In a large bowl, combine egg, panko, milk, garlic, lemon zest, mint, parsley, salt, and pepper and let sit a few minutes for crumbs to soften. Add lamb, breaking up with your fingers, and mix well with your hands.

Step 2

With wet hands, form meat mixture into 3/4-in. balls (use about 3/4 tsp. for each) and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Chill until a little firmer, about 15 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, make soup: In a large covered pot, bring broth and zest to a simmer. Add rice and simmer over low heat, partially covered, until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes.

Step 4

While soup simmers, heat oil in a large, heavy frying pan (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. Cook meatballs in 2 batches, turning once, to brown on 2 sides, about 6 minutes total. Shake pan, rolling meatballs around to brown a little further. With a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to paper towels.

Step 5

With a slotted spoon, remove zest from soup and discard. Add meatballs and bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn off heat.

Step 6

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs to blend and add lemon juice. Whisk in a ladle of hot soup. One at a time, whisk in about 5 more ladles of soup, then return mixture to pot. Rewarm over low heat if needed. Serve immediately with more mint and parsley.

Step 7

Mastering meatballs. They sound rustic, but they're delicate things that suffer from over-handling. Here are tips for making them come out right.

Step 8

Mixing: Always start by mixing the bread crumbs (which keep the meatballs from getting tough), any liquids, and seasonings—then add the meat. Stop when the mixture looks evenly blended; don't overwork it.

Step 9

Forming: Dampen your hands with cold water to keep the meat mixture from sticking while you roll it into balls. If it's still sticky, let it sit for a few minutes in the fridge.

Step 10

Browning: A good crust helps meatballs retain their shape—important if they're going to simmer in a thick sauce. If you plan to eat them on their own or add them to broth, though, a light pan-frying will do the trick.

Step 11

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1 1/2-cup serving.

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