This soup, known as aarshe saak, is almost standard fare in many parts of the Middle East. In Greece, it is made without the meatballs and simply called avogolemono.
2 large onions
3 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 cup yellow split peas
1 1/4 quarts water
8 ounces ground lamb
6 cups chopped spinach
1/2 cup rice flour
juice of 2 lemons
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
4 eggs, beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sprigs of fresh mint, to garnish
- chop one of the onions and fry in 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pan until golden. Add the turmeric, peas, and water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Grate the other onion into a bowl, add the lamb and seasoning and stir. Using your hands, form the mixture into small balls, about the size of walnuts. Carefully add to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the spinach, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes longer.
- Mix the flour with about 1 cup cold water to make a smooth paste. Slowly add to the pan, stirring all the time. Add the lemon juice, season and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a small pan. Add the garlic and fry quickly until golden. Stir in the mint and remove the pan from the heat.
- Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the beaten eggs. Sprinkle the prepared garlic and mint mixture over the soup and garnish with mint sprigs.