Avgolemono : Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

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The other day we found ourselves at a lovely local Greek restaurant, and since it was a chillier day, I was looking at the soup options.  I saw the Avgolemono Greek Lemon Chicken soup and was curious.  I ordered a cup and fell in love.

I love the lemon taste – how it made me pucker just a little – and I was intrigued by the broth, which I later learned was thick due to the eggs in the recipe. Simply yum,

Three reasons I love Avgolemono

It’s hearty, but doesn’t weigh you down.

It’s lemony, clean, and refreshing.

It’s super easy to make.

Avgolemono recipe

Thanks to Jeff Mauro at Food Network for the above linked recipe. Below is my interpretation of the recipe. I completely spaced and used two chicken breasts instead of four – and I think it was still mighty meaty.

Ingredients:

  • 4 quarts low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 3 large eggs, separated 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest plus juice of 4 fresh lemons 
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper 

Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot, bring the chicken stock to a boil.
  2. Add the chicken breasts and lower to a simmer. Simmer until the chicken is just cooked through – 15 to 20 minutes
  3. Remove to a plate and let rest. Once cooled, shred the chicken and reserve.
  4. Add the orzo to the pot with the chicken stock and cook until al dente, 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and most of the lemon juice, reserving some to add later as needed.
  7. Combine the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. Then, ladle in some hot stock to temper the egg mixture, whisking constantly and adding the hot liquid slowly. (I filled nearly the entire bowl before adding the warmed egg mixture into stockpot.) Very slowly, add the warm whipped egg/lemon mixture into the pot, whisking constantly to prevent any curds or clumps from forming.
  8. Continue to cook over medium-low to medium heat, whisking, until the soup thickens, about 10 minutes more.

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