Thursday, May 10, 2012

Avgolemono - Greek Chicken Soup

I've been a bit under the weather.  Bad allergies with the current Houston air turned into some sort of overall yuck.  When I am sick I want my mom to make me some chicken soup.  Since my mom doesn't live anywhere near me (boo), I just have to make some chicken soup myself!  I'm a mom, so it should still work!    I decided to make Avgolemono, a Greek chicken soup with egg-lemon sauce.  Hello.  I may have found a new favorite soup!

Avgolemono in Greek actually means egg-lemon.  You start off with a fairly basic chicken soup recipe,  but instead of ending with just chicken soup, there is MORE.  You add a sauce made of lemon juice, eggs, and fresh ground pepper to the stock and it takes chicken soup to an entirely new level! 

The chicken stock is made of chicken, water, a leek, a carrot, some salt and bay leaves.   When the chicken is cooked, you remove it and then add a sauteed onion and either rice or orzo.  Shred or dice the chicken, put it back into the broth, and there you have a nice tasty chicken soup. 

But wait!  There is more!  Mix up some lemon juice, eggs and pepper, temper the eggs with some of the hot chicken stock, and then mix it all into the chicken stock. 

Instead of having a simple chicken noodle soup, you have a chicken noodle (if you used orzo) soup with the extra zip and vitamin C benefits of lemon!  The egg-lemon sauce really makes the soup amazing.  It adds a creaminess and vibrancy to the dish.  Often when I am not feeling well, I feel like my taste buds have gone on hiatus, and this soup will encourage them back. 

So whether your mom makes it, you make it, or someone else makes it, get yourself a nice bowl of Avgolemono. 

Avgolemono - Chicken Soup with Egg-Lemon Sauce
Adapted from Food Network, Cat Cora

1 (3 pound) free range chicken
12 cups cold water
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 leek, cleaned and quartered (or 1 inch pieces if you intend to keep it in the soup)
1 carrot, peeled and quartered (or 1 inch pieces if you intend to keep it in the soup)
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups finely diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
2/3 cup arborio rice (I used about 1 cup whole wheat orzo)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a 6 to 8-quart stockpot, combine the chicken, water, and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a very low simmer, and skim the foam from the surface. Add the leek, carrot and bay leaves and continue to simmer with the chicken until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  The internal temperature of the chicken needs to be 165F.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until translucent, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Remove chicken from the broth and allow meat to cool before dicing or shredding. Strain the broth (optional) and skim the fat.

Return the broth to the stove, bring it back to a boil, and add the onion and rice or orzo.  (I happened to have the orzo on hand and thought it'd be tasty!!)  Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice/orzo is almost cooked through, about 20 minutes for rice, 6-8 for orzo. Add the chicken and reduce the broth to a low simmer.
In a medium sized bowl, beat the lemon juice, eggs, and pepper. Ladle 2 cups of hot broth into a measuring cup with a spout. While whisking, slowly pour the 2 cups of broth into the egg mixture. Pour the egg mixture back into the pot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt. Stir well to blend. Divide among bowls and serve immediately.
Printable Recipe


  1. I love this soup at Niko Niko's! Whenever I have a sore throat, I want to get a bowl. Now I am inspired to try it myself!


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