Avgolemono (Greek Egg/Lemon Chicken) Soup


This is probably the most famous of the Greek soups. Heartwarming, flavorful, chock full of tender rice, and with a distinct lemon tang. It can serve as the beginning of a special dinner or as a wonderful meal all by itself.

Simply Delicious: Avgolemeno Soup

Traditional Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (3–4 pounds)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and whole
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice 
  • ½–1 cup white long grain rice

Directions

  1. Clean and wash chicken and place in large stockpot (do not use liver).
  2. Add water, onion, carrots, celery, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bring to boil, skimming off scum or foam that rises to top.
  4. Lower heat, cover, and simmer gently over a low heat for 1–1½ hours or until chicken is completely tender.
  5. Remove chicken from stock.
  6. Remove vegetables from stock. (If desired, reserve cooked carrots and dice).
  7. Strain stock and return to stockpot.
  8. Add rice to stock and simmer covered until tender (about 20 minutes).
    For a vegetable/chicken soup, sauté ½ finely minced onion and 1 finely minced stalk of celery in 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter while rice is cooking.)
  9. Skin and bone cooked chicken meat and cut into bit size pieces (If desired, reserve chicken breast meat for another use).
  10. Add the chicken meat to the stock along with the reserved carrots and sautéed vegetables, if using.
  11. Adjust seasonings.
  12. Remove pot from heat.
  13. Prepare Avgolemono Sauce of choice and add to soup gradually.

Easier Soup

This is a streamlined version of the classic soup. It’s quick and easy to make, yet quite delicious.

Ingredients

  • Canned chicken broth (enough to make approximately 8 cups or 64 ounces)
  • ½ onion, chopped finely
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ½–1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh meat (optional)
  • ½–1 cup white long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or quick mixing flour (like Wondra)
  • ¼ cup water

Directions

  1. In large stockpot, bring chicken broth, vegetables, and seasonings to a boil.
  2. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
  3. If using, add chicken breast meat after 20 minutes and continue cooking for about 10–15 minutes longer.
  4. Remove bay leaf.
  5. Remove chicken meat, if using, and cut into bite size cubes.
  6. Add rice to stock and simmer covered until tender (about 20 minutes).
  7. Add the chicken meat, if using, to the stock.
  8. Adjust seasonings.
  9. Remove pot from heat.
  10. Prepare Avgolemono Sauce of choice and add to soup gradually.

Traditional Avgolemono Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1–2 cups hot soup broth
  • 2 eggs 
  • Juice from 2 lemons

Directions

  1. Separate the egg yolks from egg whites.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until almost stiff.
  3. In smaller bowl, beat egg yolks with lemon juice.
  4. Gently combine the egg whites with the lemon/yolk mixture.
  5. Slowly add the broth to the egg mixture, little by little (ladle by ladle), while continuing to beat.
  6. Pour and mix the Avgolemono Sauce gently into the hot soup and stir well.
  7. The soup should be slightly thick and foamy.
  8. Serve immediately, before froth subsides.

Thick and Creamy Avgolemono Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1–2 cups hot soup broth
  • 2 eggs 
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 1–2 tablespoons quick mixing flour  (like Wondra)

Directions

  1. Mix the flour with the lemon juice and blend well.
  2. Beat the eggs well in a bowl.
  3. Add the flour and lemon mixture to the eggs and beat well. 
  4. Slowly add the broth to the egg mixture, little by little (ladle by ladle), while continuing to beat.
  5. Pour and mix the Avgolemono Sauce gently into the hot soup and stir well.
  6. Serve immediately.

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