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Course: main course
Total time: under 15 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Cost: Moderate
Yield: 6 servings
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Notes

You find the egg-and-lemon finish, also called bel tarbeyah, in all Middle Eastern countries. In Greece it is the famous avgolemono. Use skinned fish fillets-white fish such as cod or haddock-or have a mixture of seafood including peeled shrimp and, if you like, a handful of mussels.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups fish or chicken bouillon (use 2 fish or chicken bouillon cubes)
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron powder or threads or ¼ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 2 ounces vermicelli, broken into small pieces, or litde pasta like orzo (they are called lissan al asifour, bird’s tongues, in Arabic)
  • 2 pounds skinned fish fillets, or 1½ pounds fillets with ½ pound shrimp and a dozen or so mussels
  • 3 eggs
  • Juice of 1 to 2 lemons or 3 to 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon to garnish (optional)

Directions

Bring the stock to a boil in a large pan.

Add the saffron, vermicelli, and fish fillets, cut into pieces, and cook 3-6 minutes, until the vermicelli is tender and the fish begins to flake. Add the seafood, if using, for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with the lemon juice. Add a ladle of the liquid soup and beat well. Then pour the egg mixture into the soup and stir for a minute or so over low heat, until the soup thickens a little. Do not let it boil, or the eggs will curdle. Taste and add salt and pepper.

Serve at once, dusted, if you like, with cinnamon.

Variation

A Tunisian version has 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 large boiled potatoes cut into pieces, and 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro added to the stock.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving

224kcal (11%)
46mg (5%)
4mg (6%)
76mcg RAE (3%)
460mg
70mg
31g
1g
1g
9g
227mg (76%)
490mg (20%)
2g (8%)
6g (10%)
2mg (11%)