Avgolemono soup is the Greek answer to chicken noodle soup, but I’ve got to say – I think they win. Not only is it comfortingly warming, it has a lovely lemony undertone. Perfect for a cold day.
I’ve mentioned before that I grew up with Scotch broth as the kind of equivalent to chicken noodle soup, and it’s one my husband now often asks for, particularly if he is not feeling great. This soup has all the same great qualities – a broth-based soup with simple ingredients, mild flavors but that is so warming and comforting. It’s also a great way to use up leftovers, as you can use any leftover chicken as well as homemade stock, which I make pretty much any time we have chicken on the bone. It might seem a pain, but it’s so easy to do and tastes so much better (with less salt) than store bought.
What is avgolemono?
Avgolemono can refer to both a soup and a sauce made with lemon and egg. It’s the same basic sauce that then thickens up the soup with the same name and gives it a deliciously lemon flavor. It’s really easy to make, as all you do is beat together the egg and lemon. The only trick is to then add a little of the hot stock to temper the egg before you add it to the post of soup so that you get a nice smooth soup rather than dribbles of egg in there. Some people use whole eggs, others just use yolks – I have gone with one of each to make it slightly richer without leaving you with too many spare whites 🙂
How it’s made
There’s more than one way to make this, but I’ve gone for what I find the most practical for what I tend to have. That is, leftover chicken and chicken stock. First you cook the rice in the stock, then add in shredded chicken. Whisk together the lemon and egg, then as I say temper it with some warm stock. I’d add a couple of spoonfuls, one at a time, to ensure it blends well. Then add this in to the soup, cook a little more (but don’t boil) then serve. I’ve made it with rice, but you can also use orzo instead, cooked in the same way.
Avgolemono soup is a really simple but delicious combination of warming comfort food with a little bit of Mediterranean brightness from the lemon. Smooth, satisfying, and a bowlful everyone will be asking for again and again.
Avgolemono soup is the Greek equivalent of chicken noodle soup, with a lovely lemon undertone. Fresh and comforting.
- 3 cups chicken stock 720ml, homemade if possible, or if not good quality
- 1/4 cup long grain rice 45g
- 3/4 cup cooked chicken 100g, shredded
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- a little fresh dill, salt and pepper to serve
Warm the stock in a medium-large pot so that it starts to simmer. Add the rice, cover and bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat and leave the rice to cook (timing will depend on the type of rice - see packet for expected time).
Once the rice is just tender, add the chicken to the pot and stir through.
Whisk together the egg, egg yolk and lemon juice in a small bowl or jug. Add a small spoonful of the warm stock and whisk in, then repeat a couple times. Add the mixture into the pot of soup and stir it through.
Serve the soup, getting a good balance of rice, chicken and the stock in each bowl, and top with a little dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste (and a little more lemon if you like, too).
Note - you can also use orzo pasta instead of rice.
Try these other warming soups from around the world:
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