100g basmati rice, rinsed until the water runs clear, drained
500ml light lamb or chicken stock
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Good handful each of mint, parsley, dill and coriander, chopped (leaves only)
400g natural yogurt
2 egg yolks
For the spiced butter
Good pinch dried cayenne
Using your hands, mix together all the meatball ingredients (except the oil) and season really well, making sure the spices and seasoning are well distributed.
With wet hands, roll the mixture into balls about the size of a fat cherry. Put them on a tray or sheet as you make them. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes, if you have time.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion and garlic gently for about 4 minutes. Add a splash of water, cover the pan and sweat the mixture until it is soft but not coloured, about 12 minutes.
Stir in the rice, add the stock and cook until the rice is only just tender, about 15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and heat through, then add the herbs and some seasoning. Mix the yogurt in a bowl with the egg yolks.
You can just poach the lamb meatballs in the soup at this stage but I do like a bit of colour on them so heat the oil in a frying pan and saute them in batches. Cook for about 3 minutes to get a good colour all over then turn the heat down and cook for another 4 minutes.
Heat the soup again then add the yogurt and egg yolk mixture. Stir together and heat through, adding the meatballs, but don’t boil.
Heat the butter in a small frying pan until it is foaming then add the cayenne. Cook for a minute. Serve the soup in bowls with a drizzle of cayenne butter on the top.