Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Soup)
Avgolemono means literally egg-lemon and is a creamy soup made from egg and lemon juice mixed with broth. The avgolemono version is the greek version though variants can be found all around the Mediterranean/Balkan regions. In Greece it generally starts with Chicken or lamb broth, has egg and lemon then perhaps rice or orzo added. Meat is sometimes but not always added.
Basically I love avgolemono because it's a hearty but not too heavy soup with a delicate flavour that you can make with leftovers. The version I present to you today was made because I had a few lemons, a bunch of leftover rice and a some leftover chicken. I originally got this recipe from Jim and Barb Pappas but have adjusted a bit over the years.
Avgolemono is one of those dishes that everyone has a different recipe for. It's also one of those dishes that some people have strong opinions on and given that some of these people are greek the arguments can be noisy (but loving.) I'm not greek but I have a number of greek friends and most of their recipes when asked go something like this.
- 4 Cups of Chicken Stock (or others, vegetable works fine if you're an egg eating veggie)
- Note: If using a packaged stock I like to sweat a bit of onion and garlic in the pot first just to deepen the flavour a bit.
- 2 TBSP corn starch mixed into a slurry with 2tbsp of COLD water
- 4 Eggs (Beaten)
- 6 TBSP Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed ideally)
- 1/2 Cup of Whipped Cream (Milk makes it rich enough for my tastes though)
- Rice or orzo (I like day old rice for this)
- Cooked and Shredded chicken or lamb
- Heat your stock to the boil point
- While stock is boiling whisk eggs until light and fluffy then mix in lemon juice, do this in a large bowl as you'll be adding more liquid.
- Add your cornstarch/water combo to the broth stirring like mad.
- Lower heat to low-med/low then ladle a bit of your soup at a time INTO your egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid temperature shock. You can't pour too much in at once or you'll likely end up with bits of scrambled eggs in your soup from the temperature shock.
- Once your egg/soup mixture is well mixed and nice and hot, pour it back into the stock and whisk it all together.
- Add your rice/orzo and meat at this point if you're doing that option but keep in mind that too much rice will starch/soak up all your liquid so don't overdo it.
- After it thickens for a bit you're ready to go... whisk in your cream or milk and serve.
- I like to serve this as a meal on its own with a bit of extra lemon and some crusty bread but it also does well accompanying souvlaki or other dishes.