Avgolemono Soup

A bowl of Greek Avgolemono Soup with lemons and a spoon

Avgolemono Soup is a fabulously lemony chicken and rice soup made super creamy without any cream! It’s classic Greek comfort food.

A bowl of Greek Avgolemono Soup with lemons

Years ago my friend Barb made Greek avgolemono 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.

A bowl of Greek Avgolemono Soup with lemons and a spoon

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.

Fresh lemons for Avgolemono Soup

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.

eggs for Avgolemono Soup

rice for avgolemono soup

Whisking the broth for Avgolemono Soup

Making the broth for Avgolemono soup

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.

A bowl of Greek Avgolemono Soup with lemons

This avgolemono 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.

A bowl of Greek Avgolemono Soup with lemons

I love this easy technique of creating a super lemony sauce thickened with eggs that I’ve adapted it again and again ~

Greek Avgolemono Soup
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3.31 from 102 votes

Avgolemono Soup

Author Sue Moran

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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…)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Serve garnished with snipped chives or parsley.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

 

Thanks for pinning my avgolemono soup!

Avgolemono Soup in a white bowl with fresh lemons.

 

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36 Comments

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  • Reply
    Jen
    September 27, 2020 at 11:11 am

    I’ve been looking for a lemon artichoke soup. Could I use this recipe with artichokes instead of chicken? Or without the rice?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 27, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      Oooh that sounds good Jen. I just made some lemon artichoke cakes that we ate on a bed of salad, so good, love the combo!

  • Reply
    Samantha Clark
    June 23, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Hey there! I absolutely love this recipe – sometimes when I’m lazy I pick up a quart of rice from the Chinese food place on my way home from work.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 23, 2020 at 5:42 pm

      No judgement here!!

  • Reply
    Patricia
    July 7, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Sue, Just made this for dinner. Great flavors, but I would’ve liked it to be a bit thicker (creamier like one I had at an old school Greek Restaurant). Any suggestions?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 7, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      Yes, the restaurant may have cooked the rice in the broth, and then pureed some of the soup for a thicker texture, that’s a traditional way of making it thicker if you prefer that.

  • Reply
    Kathy Evans
    November 11, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Hi sue,
    This recipe looks delicious! I am having a problem getting some of your recipes. The carrots and brown butter and sage looks so good but I can’t find the recipe. If you have a moment could you give me a tip on what’s going wrong? Thanks in advance!
    Sincerely,
    Kathy

  • 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
      Sue
      January 1, 2019 at 11:27 am

      That sounds amazing, I love food memories like that 🙂

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