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!
My Greek inspired lemon soup is the perfect lightened up comfort food.
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.
This lemon soup is hearty, but not heavy. 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.
This lemon soup is creamy without any dairy in the recipe.
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
Lemon Soup with Chicken and Israeli Couscous
- 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.
Questions and Reviews
I enjoy avgolemono and look forward to trying with Israeli couscous. In order to add color, what do you think of substituting shrimp for chicken?
Hi Kate ~ I’m sure you could use shrimp ~ I had the same thought when I made my Shrimp in Lemon Sauce (https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/shrimp-in-lemon-sauce-with-olives-recipe/)
Yes, I just boiled/cooked it for about 10 minutes and ate some and that was the problem. It is much better-I was basically eating raw egg yolks…. I am not sure it’s my favorite recipe on earth but it IS GOOD…. ?
I made this soup tonight and was disappointed in it. I DID substitute orzo b/c that is what I had but the flavor tasted undone somehow. I think that I did not “cook” the raw eggs enough. After adding the last ingredients, I only warmed it and I think it needed to come to a full boil. If that was not the problem, I don’t know what the problem was……..
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!
Thanks a lot for checking back in to let us know Sophie. If you like this soup you have to try my Greek Meatballs in Lemon Sauce: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/greek-meatballs-lemon-sauce/
Thanks will definitely give it a try!