Lemon Soup with Chicken and Israeli Couscous

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sunny lemon soup with chicken and couscous

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!

Lemony soup with chicken and Israeli couscous

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.

Lemon soup with chicken and couscous

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.

Sunny lemon soup with chicken and Israeli couscous

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.

Lemon Soup with Chicken and Israeli Couscous
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Yield: serves 4-6 depending on portion sze

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


  1. Heat the water and broth to a boil in a soup pot.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl.
  3. 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.
  4. Then, with the heat lowered to medium, slowly whisk the eggs into the soup in the pot, whisking or stirring the whole time.
  5. Cook the soup over medium for about 5 minutes, stirring the whole time.
  6. Add the chicken, lemon juice, and the couscous and stir to heat through. Salt to taste.
  7. 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.


Don’t forget to pin this Lemon Soup with Chicken and Israeli Couscous!

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! #lemon #lemonsoup #soup #avgolemono #avgolemonosoup #avgolemonorecipe #spring #lunch #chickensoup


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  • Reply
    April 3, 2017 at 5:55 am

    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?

  • Reply
    Shirley Stann
    September 24, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    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…. ?

  • Reply
    Shirley Stann
    September 24, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    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……..

  • Reply
    May 22, 2016 at 11:02 am

    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!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Oh my, I am so hungry now! I have never made a lemon soup nor have I made a soup with egg yolks so I am very excited to try something new. It looks a little like the lemon berr blanc sauce I had at a caterer’s tasting, but without all the heavy cream and butter!! I love lemon and I am so happy it is a creamy texture soup that my lactose free daughter can try! I am a little nervous that I might curdle it but I hopefully not, because I just can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    March 20, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Happy Spring! This is a most intriguing soup- lemon is a lovely flavor for spring! :)

  • Reply
    March 20, 2015 at 7:24 am

    this is probably among the top 5 most interesting soups i’ve ever seen. very cool recipe, and if i was a lemon lover, i’d be all over it! as it is, i am not, but the texture looks amazing and the hue is lovely!

    • Reply
      March 20, 2015 at 7:52 am

      Thanks Grace, it’s not a showy soup as far as the photographs go, but I agree, it is one of the most interesting!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    March 20, 2015 at 5:38 am

    Spring has not quite arrived here, but it’s definitely on the way! Love the lemon chicken combination with the couscous. Beautiful!

  • Reply
    March 20, 2015 at 2:28 am

    It looks like a great soup for the spring! I like the use of lemon juice and giant couscous here.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    March 19, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more beautiful. I can just smell the lemon and taste the freshness – just like spring! Have a wonderful weekend Sue!

  • Reply
    Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine
    March 19, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    This is my kind of soup, it’s beautiful and sounds light and super delicious. Love pearl pasta, it goes so well in so many soups, salads, etc.

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    March 19, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I’m so excited about the first day of spring! This soup is the perfect way to celebrate, love the vibrant lemon flavor!

  • Reply
    March 19, 2015 at 8:30 am

    So pretty, Sue. Think I love lemon anything as much as you do. Always reminds me of spring…that color….daffodils, forsythia. I love Israeli couscous…usually use it in salads, have some in my pantry.
    This is not only already pinned, but going on my must make list. My daughter would love it…she’s coming down in a couple weeks.

  • Reply
    March 19, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Oh my! This soup looks amazing. I use lemon in my chicken and pastina soup. I always have Israeli couscous in my pantry, it’s such a wonderful addition to so many recipes. I will definitely make this soup, as it’s still cold here in the north east, and soup is a staple during the winter months. This might be my last batch for the season, hopefully Spring is on it’s way!

    • Reply
      March 19, 2015 at 7:29 am

      The big discovery was how well the larger couscous holds up the broth, I’ll be using it more from now on!