Spinach and Lemon Soup


Kelly Rossiter Photo
Kelly Rossiter

Difficulty Level Easy

I'm not usually that fond of meat in soup, but I've had this soup with meatballs and spinach in Middle Eastern restaurants and I got all excited when I saw a recipe for it. I remember it as being brothy and tangy and lemony, with the meatball falling apart in my mouth.

And that was pretty much the way this soup turned out, until I decided it needed a few more minutes cooking and then headed off to do some small task. And then promptly forgot about my soup. When I was upstairs and could suddenly smell it from the kitchen below I thought I had better go turn that off. Well, my soup had cooked down into something that resembled oatmeal and a lot of the split peas were stuck to the bottom, so I had to add some extra water, but boy, was it delicious.

The meatballs were a little bit hard, but that wasn't due to my overcooking. I think I handled the raw meat too much while I was mixing in the spices, so be careful when you get to that step. If you want a vegetarian or vegan soup, just skip the meatballs and make the soup.I really liked the flavours in this soup, and I'll make it again and pay more attention next time.

This recipe is from the website Gourmet Worrier


For the Meatballs
1 lb organic minced lamb or beef
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
For the Soup
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp ground turmeric
A glug of olive oil
3/4 cup yellow split peas
1/2 bunch baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
5 cups of water
The juice of two lemons
1 cup of fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp organic plain flour
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. For the meatballs put the onion, garlic and spices in a bowl and mix well. Using your hands, form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a walnut. You should end up with approximately 24 meatballs. In a large saucepan, gently fry the meatballs in a little olive oil, in small batches until they are sealed and brown. Set aside.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the same saucepan and sauté until golden. Add the turmeric, split peas and water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Carefully add the meatballs and spinach to the saucepan. Mix the plain flour with a cup cold water to make a smooth paste, and then slowly add it to the soup, stirring all the time to prevent it from going lumpy.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and cook over a gentle heat for 20 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and garnish with a little chopped fresh mint and serve immediately.
This recipe appears in: Soups
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