Egg and lemon fish soup

Serves 6
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Indy Lifestyle Online

You find this in many Middle Eastern countries. In Greece it is the famous avgolemono. Use skinned fish fillets - white fish such as cod or haddock - or a mixture of seafood including cooked peeled prawns and, if you like, a handful of shelled mussels.

You find this in many Middle Eastern countries. In Greece it is the famous avgolemono. Use skinned fish fillets - white fish such as cod or haddock - or a mixture of seafood including cooked peeled prawns and, if you like, a handful of shelled mussels.

You can buy cleaned and cooked mussels in many supermarkets.

1 1/ 2 litres stock (use 2 fish or chicken stock cubes)
1/ 4 teaspoon powdered saffron or saffron pistils (optional)
50g vermicelli, broken into small pieces, or little pasta grains (they are called birds' tongues in Arabic because that is what they look like)
900g skinned fish fillets or a mixture with cooked prawns and mussels
3 eggs
juice of 1-2 lemons
salt and pepper

Bring the stock to the boil in a large pan. Add the saffron, vermicelli and fish fillets (not the cooked seafood) and cook for five to 10 minutes until the vermicelli is tender and the fish begins to flake. Now add the seafood, if using, and bring to the boil, then take off the heat.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with the lemon juice. Add a ladle of the liquid soup and beat well. Pour the egg mixture into the soup and stir for a minute or so over a 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.

Variation: A Tunisian version has one tablespoon of tomato paste, two large boiled potatoes cut into pieces, and three tablespoons of chopped flat-leaf parsley or coriander added to the stock.

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