Lemon Soup with Chicken and Israeli Couscous ~ this creamy lemon soup is based on the classic Greek avgolemono soup, the broth is thickened with egg yolks only, and the flavor is brilliant!
Did you know it’s the first day of spring tomorrow? I’m celebrating with a sunny lemon soup that is dead simple, but truly unique. I can’t wait for you to make it and let me know what you think. What makes it so fabulous? — for one thing, it’s lemony. Super lemony, which is unusual for a soup. The texture is silky and creamy, but there’s no cream in it. On top of that, it’s hearty, but not heavy. And last but not least, the Israeli couscous, which is basically regular couscous on steroids, has the most wonderful al-dente texture that never gets soggy in the broth, like rice or pastas do. In my opinion this is the perfect early spring soup…warming but light, like a burst of spring sunshine in a bowl.
The pale lemony broth is so appealing, and it has the most unusual ‘mouthfeel’, (I hate that phrase but it fits.) 6 egg yolks are whisked into the hot broth, which gives it a pale yellow color and an unusual silky texture. It’s surprisingly stable once you get it all combined and cooked. I had it for three consecutive days, heating it in the microwave each day, and it was perfect. No curdling or separating. And as I said, the large couscous kept its bite throughout. I’m really impressed.
This recipe is very similar to my Greek Avgolemono Soup which is one of my favorites. In this case I’m using only egg yolks, instead of whole eggs, which gives it a little extra richness and a deeper golden glow. I use a similar technique in my Greek Meatballs in Lemon Sauce, which are absolutely amazing. I’ve even given chicken and shrimp a similar treatment I love it so much.
Reader Rave ~
“We just made this soup, it’s simply fantastic! It’s so rich and creamy yet still refreshing. We decided to add riso instead of the couscous after all, which was also very tasty. And we added a little more lemon juice. Hmm, so delicious! Thanks for sharing and for the great inspiration!” ~Sophie
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3 cups shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken works well)
- 2 cups cooked Israeli couscous (measure AFTER cooking)
- mint leaves, or any other small herb
- lemon wedges
- Heat the water and broth to a boil in a soup pot.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl.
- Take a cup of the hot stock and slowly drizzle it into the egg yolks, while you are continuously whisking. This will 'temper' the eggs so they won't scramble when they mix with the hot soup.
- Then, with the heat lowered to medium, slowly whisk the eggs into the soup in the pot, whisking or stirring the whole time.
- Cook the soup over medium for about 5 minutes, stirring the whole time.
- Add the chicken, lemon juice, and the couscous and stir to heat through. Salt to taste.
- Serve with a sprig of mint an a good grinding of black pepper. I also like to serve lemon wedges alongside so you can get an extra burst of lemon flavor if you like.
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