Avgolemono Soup is a fabulously lemony chicken and rice soup made super creamy without any cream! It’s classic Greek comfort food.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love this easy technique of creating a super lemony sauce thickened with eggs that I’ve adapted it again and again…
- 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
- 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.
Thanks for pinning my avgolemono soup!
Questions and Reviews
Yummy it looks delicous!!! =D
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
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!
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.)
What fantastic photos these are!The soup looks very delicious and i am going to give it a try!
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!
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!
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?
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!
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?!!!