Avgolemono Soup

Greek Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono Soup 3

Years ago my friend Barb made Greek Avgolemona Soup for me and I haven’t stopped thinking about this simple lemony chicken and rice soup since.   Somehow she never got around to giving me her recipe, and so I was finally forced to make it on my own. If she’s reading, maybe she will send me her recipe and we can compare the two ;)  If you love lemon like I do, you need to give this a try.

Greek Avgolemono Soup
Chicken broth thickened with eggs and flavored with lemon is a Mediterranean concept, so good that everybody got in on the action in some way or another…there are versions of it in Greece, Turkey, and Italy, as well as in Arabic and Jewish cuisines.  The texture and flavor of the soup is incredible, it’s silky and lightly creamy (although there’s no dairy whatsoever) with a pronounced lemon tang.

My recipe is cobbled together from a bunch of sources.  I take what I like from each one until I’ve got all the components…not too many eggs, extra lemon, no celery, rice not orzo…Of course traditionally this soup starts by boiling a chicken and creating your own broth.  I used a cooked rotisserie chicken and broth from the market without sacrificing the flavor of this wonderful soup.

Avgolemono Soup

Yield: serves 4 - 6

Avgolemono Soup

Ingredients

  • about 2 cups leftover cooked rice or orzo pasta
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups cooked white meat chicken, cut in chunks
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • about 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • snipped chives or parsley

Instructions

  1. Heat the stock and water in a large soup pot to simmering. Add in the chicken meat and simmer for a few minutes. Take it off the heat.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the 3 eggs and the lemon juice together, make sure they are well incorporated and the eggs are completely broken up.
  3. Slowly pour one ladle of the hot broth into the egg mixture, whisking all the while. Add another in slowly, and then a third. You are tempering the eggs so they don’t curdle when you add them to the hot broth in the soup pot.
  4. Then, slowly, drizzle in the lemon egg mixture back into the broth, whisking constantly. (If you are good at that pat the head and rub the tummy trick, you’ll do fine with this…)
  5. The soup will turn a cloudy creamy color. Put the pan back on the burner and heat gently until it thickens slightly but doesn’t boil. Don’t stop whisking or stirring. This will only take a few minutes, and don’t wait for it to get super thick, it won’t. It just has a nice full bodied texture.
  6. I like to put the rice in the individual bowls first, and then top with the hot soup. This way the rice doesn’t absorb too much of the broth and get soggy. Add the parsley or chives, check the seasonings, and serve right away. Be sure you salt the soup sufficiently, and add more lemon if you want to.
  7. Serve garnished with snipped chives or parsley.
https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/avgolemono-soup/

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The minute you add the egg and lemon mixture to the hot broth you get a wonderful creamy emulsion.  The soup can be reheated successfully as long as you do it gently and don’t bring it to a full boil.

avgolemono soup 2

This soup is a perfect way to bring a little Mediterranean sunshine into the darker months…The dish can be delicate, or hearty, depending on how much chicken and rice you add.  I think this would be ideal for any members of the family who are under the weather.

Avgolemono Soup 6

 

*This recipe was originally published in 2011 and has been updated

28 Comments

  • Reply
    karen marie
    October 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Decades ago, when I lived in Boston, I used to get an avgolemono soup at a restaurant downtown that was so good! Thick, flavorful – oh, my word. Instead of using a spoon to eat it, I would scoop it into my mouth using pieces of their fantastic pita bread. I don’t know whether they made the pita themselves or bought it locally. But that soup … my mouth dreams of it.

  • Reply
    Jo
    July 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Hi…I was wondering if I could eliminate the chicken and possibly replace with corn as my hubby is vegetarian. I had this soup on the weekend for the first time, it was mindblowing, I am now addicted and scouring around to find a vegetarian version if possible.
    Great blog site.

  • Reply
    Arroz Caldo - Kawaling Pinoy
    March 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    […]   Other Delicious Rice Soups around the web: Spring Kale and Dill Soup with Rice Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Bacon Chicken Soup with Rice Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice Soup Avgolemono Soup […]

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    February 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Wonderful soup Sue. It sounds terrific. So cool you updated and re-posted. That would be great about how since we can’t seem to shake this winter weather. We had a foot of snow last week and I think it will stay on the ground until June!

  • Reply
    Tanya Schroeder
    February 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    You would do my mother proud. I grew up eaten this soup-it is my favorite! It arm, comforting and soothing. There is nothing like it!

  • Reply
    denise@magnoliaverandad
    February 14, 2014 at 2:46 am

    I love all these ingredients, and anything with lemon is a winner – the essence of the Mediterranean.

  • Reply
    Carol Tschida
    February 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I love this soup. My friend Leda first made it for me when she was visiting from Greece decades ago and it’s a go to comfort food for my family every since. We used orzo pasta instead of rice because I was out of rice. Either way is lovely. Just be sure to pre-cook and drain the orzo before adding it to the soup or it will be too starchy. Thanks for sharing your version.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 13, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      Thanks Carol, I think I will try it with orzo next, for a change.

  • Reply
    sippitysup
    February 13, 2014 at 11:35 am

    My partner calls this grandma food because it’s the kind of soup she always made for him. GREG

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 13, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Yup, this definitely has a grandma quality to it ;)

  • Reply
    Penny
    February 13, 2014 at 6:54 am

    This soup sounds fabulous Sue. As a matter of fact, we are snowed in at our kids house right now and Kristen and I are planning to make this tonight, adapting it a little with what we have on hand. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 13, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Hope it keeps you warm Penny!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    February 13, 2014 at 4:24 am

    I’ve been meaning to try out a veg recipe for avgolemono, though I feel like that would be heretical in some way. But I love the flavors in it! Such a comfort.

  • Reply
    Micheline
    February 12, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Hi! First time visitor to your page! It’s beautiful, tons of unique ideas here. I’m adding you to my Bloglovin’ feed so I can keep up with your new posts!

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 12, 2014 at 11:39 am

      Hey Micheline, welcome in!

  • Reply
    Jeanette
    September 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I had this soup at a Greek restaurant recently and it has been on my mind so I’m so glad to find this recipe for it. I wasn’t sure if it used whole eggs or egg yolks. Definitely going to give this a try – pure comfort food.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Some recipes do use egg yolks, This one works very well, I’ve made it numerous times and I never have had trouble with the eggs as long as I temper them first.

  • Reply
    Little Petite
    September 16, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Yummy it looks delicous!!! =D

    -Adriana

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 16, 2011 at 2:47 am

    This is one of my favorite soups and I’ll have to give your version a try. It looks wonderful. Your pictures aren’t too shabby either :-) I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    September 16, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I love this soup. I use to order it everytime I was eating out at my local Greek Restaurant. Yours soup looks delicious. Great photos!

  • Reply
    Barbara
    September 16, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Barb checking in:

    Hiya Sue, Your soup looks fab-u-lous! I only made it that one time and I congratulate you on shaving one day off the prep time by starting with a roasted chicken. My recipe came third hand from the sister of someone who was once married to a Greek guy. I’m sure you hit the nail on the head…and that’s how I do lots of my cooking , combining recipes from here and there. Love to all. xoxoxob

    (For some reason I can’t comment from work.)

  • Reply
    Maris (In GoodTaste)
    September 15, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    What fantastic photos these are!The soup looks very delicious and i am going to give it a try!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    September 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    This soup is wonderful with the addition of mint. I add a teaspoon or more of dried mint along with a few tablespoons of uncooked rice to the broth. When the rice is cooked, I add the eggs and lemon.

    I love this soup!

  • Reply
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic
    September 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I’ve only had this once but still remember how silky and comforting it was! I definitely want to try making it myself, so thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Sarah (Snippets of Thyme)
    September 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    The soup is such a beautiful color. I could see serving it at a wedding or baby shower. Or, with some luscious scallops. Is it lunch yet?

  • Reply
    hostess of the humble bungalow
    September 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    What an interesting combination of flavours.
    This would be a lovely cold weather soup and I would serve it with a rustic peasant bread.

    You could write a cookbook Sue!

  • Reply
    Jane and Lance Hattatt
    September 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Hello Sue:
    We love anything lemony and know that we should find this soup absolutely delicious. Our housekeeper already makes a marvellous chicken broth, so now all we need to be able to do is explain the other bits. How is your Hungarian?!!!

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