Meatballs of some sort exist in the cuisine of every culture worldwide. These Greek-inspired meatballs in lemon thyme soup can take on a Moroccan flavor profile after enjoying them as soup by folding them into pita bread with cucumbers and yogurt. The meatballs are baked in the oven for a bit and then added to the lemon soup for finishing.
What do Greek Meatballs Taste Like?
The meatballs are smokey and full of flavor, the yogurt is a nice cooling element, and the cucumbers and the mint make for a nice and fresh contrast. This is a beautifully balanced dish. The meatballs can be made ahead and reserved in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
The inspiration for these ketogenic meatballs is from the April 2015 edition of Bon Appetit magazine where they were highlighting a tapas recipe from a New York City restaurant called El Colmado. The inspiration for the Greek lemon soup was inspired by the Café cookbook from Chez Panisse.
Is this Recipe Low Carb or Keto?
Everything in the meatball soup recipe is compliant with a low carb or keto lifestyle. If you use the leftover meatballs to make a Greek sandwich with pita bread, then the bread will not be compliant. This is a good recipe for low carb pita bread if you are inclined to make it from scratch.
Yogurt is considered compliant with low carb diets as long as it is high fat without sugar. This post will help you determine whether dairy is compliant with your particular low carb or slow carb diet. See this post on dairy for mnoodles or shirataki noodles make a good low carb bed for the meatballs.
What Side Dishes go with the Soup?
If you are not living a ketogenic or low carb lifestyle, you can certainly add couscous or pasta to round out the meatballs. If you want to add low carb/keto noodles you can use shirataki (aka miracle noodles).
Shirataki are my low carb pasta of choice and I use them primarily for the texture they provide. They are good at soaking up sauces and giving the dish some “chew”.
Gordon Ramsey serves these meatballs with cucumbers, yogurt and a chile sauce, which was the inspiration for using leftover meatballs as a pita sandwich.
More Meatball Recipes:
Greek meatballs in lemon soup
- 1 large bowl
- ½ onion chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds ground/crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tsp. kosher salt plus more if needed
- 1 large egg
- 1 pounds ground meat I used pork. Lamb, chicken or beef can be used
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice from one lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- Zest of one lemon to garnish
Pita Sandwich (optional with leftovers)
- 1 cucumber
- 1-2 pita pockets
- ½ Cup Greek plain yogurt
- 2 Sprigs mint
- 1-2 red chile peppers
- Add onion, chopped garlic, parsley, spices egg, and meat in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with handsForm meat mixture into 1” balls and place on plate with plastic wrap (so they won’t stick). Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Can be made a day ahead at this point (cover and refrigerate)When ready to make the soup, place meatballs in 400 degrees F oven for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven.
- While meatballs are cooking make the lemon soup. Add chicken broth, wine. lemon juice, zest and thyme. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the meatballs to the lemon soup and heat through.
- Cut leftover meatballs in half. To a pita pocket add a few spoonfuls of yogurt, some cucumbers, some hot peppers and some chopped mint. Add the halved meatballs and enjoy!