When I was a child, my Mom would make a lemon noodle soup using turkey broth. Seeing as we had some leftover Thanksgiving turkey, I figured I’d boil the Charles Dickens out of it and make some broth. I had two drumsticks & thighs, so I boiled them, picked as much meat as I could off the bones, put the bones back into the broth, added a couple of tablespoons of cider vinegar and let it simmer for several hours. The vinegar helps to leach calcium out of the bones into the broth.
I ended up with about 6 cups of broth–plain broth, no salt, seasonings, or anything. Usually when I make soup stock, I throw in onions, carrots, celery, salt, & pepper, but for this recipe, I kept it plain.
So, here we go with our Armenian Lemon Noodle Soup:
- 5-6 cups of turkey broth
- 1 whole lemon, juiced
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of noodles
- salt & pepper to taste
Separate the egg yolks from the whites using a gadget or like me, simply break the eggs and swap the yolk back-and-forth between the two empty shell halves over a bowl so the whites fall into that. Put the egg whites away for other uses, we won’t be needing them. Beat the egg yolks with a whisk.
For the one cup of noodles, I used vermicelli that I broke into 1-2″ pieces, but you can substitute egg noodles, pasta, or even rice.
Slice the lemon and squeeze as much juice out as you can. There are many “tricks” to increasing the yield of juice from a lemon. Asking it politely won’t work, but sticking it in the microwave for 15 seconds, then somewhat forcefully rolling it with your palm on the counter before you slice it in half, certainly helps.
Add the lemon juice, noodles, salt, and pepper to the broth. Cook until the noodles are tender.
Remove the soup from the heat and remove one cup or so of the hot broth from the pot. It looks like I used about 2/3 cup–close enough.
You will use this hot broth to temper the eggs. Do not pour the egg yolks directly into the soup or pour the hot broth all at once into the egg yolks. To temper the eggs, you must slowly add the hot broth into the yolks while constantly stirring them. This will gradually raise the temperature of the yolks without cooking them so they turn into scrambled eggs–or egg drop soup!
Now, slowly add the tempered egg yolk mixtures into the soup, again stirring constantly. This will thicken up the soup, making it creamier.
Serve the soup, immediately. This is a good soup to have with sandwiches. Honestly, my family is not used to me making soups that are more of a side versus a whole meal!
I shared this recipe on FaceBook and was asked about it by a couple friends. The family that tried it loved it and another friend asked for the recipe, so I decided I’d just blog about it. I have to be honest with you, though, my Southern Man and family aren’t the hugest fans because they’re not used to the turkey taste in soup. However, you can also use chicken broth, which the Greeks and Armenians typically do. In fact, when looking for this recipe, all I could find were recipes using chicken stock, not turkey. I’m assuming that my version is a family recipe from my Mom’s side. The next time I make it, I will use chicken broth to see if the family likes that better.
Whatever you choose to make, chicken or turkey, this recipe is a good base to start with. You can experiment by adding meat and vegetables to make it heartier. Also, dill would go well with the lemon. Enjoy!