Avgolemono Soup Recipe (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)

by | Jun 18, 2020 | Chicken

Avgolemono Soup Recipe (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)

Avgolemono Soup Recipe (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)
You’ll love this authentic Greek Avgolemono Soup Recipe.  Ahvo-lemono, as the Greeks pronounce it, is a silky, rich, fragrant chicken soup, prepared Greek-style with avgolemono sauce (lemon-egg sauce.) Best part, this weeknight version comes together in just over 30 minutes. 

Chicken soup is one of those nostalgic dishes known as a home remedy to comfort the sick or relief the cold chill in the air. It’s also one of those universal foods every culture, and every household, has some version of–noodles or not.
I’ll never pass up a warm bowl of homemade chicken soup, but one of my favorites for sure is the Greek version: the egg and lemon soup known as Avgolemono.

Avgolemono soup may start like any ordinary chicken soup–onions, carrots, celery, broth, chicken etc.

But–at the very end–is delightfully transformed into a silky, tangy, absolutely unforgettable bowl chicken rice soup, thanks to the addition of Greek avgolemono sauce (egg-lemon sauce.)

Now, to make traditional avgolemono soup, Greek yiayias would spend more than two hours–starting from scratch to make homemade chicken stock from a whole chicken, then shredding the chicken to be used in the soup. (Check out our last recipe for a Whole Chicken Stock/Broth to make your own).  If you haven’t got time to do this whole chi

But in this 30-minute weeknight version, there are two major shortcuts: ready chicken stock or broth (low-sodium, preferred); and store-bought rotisserie chicken. Since I often have leftover rotisserie chicken on hand, avgolemono is a great way to put it to use.

Two important tips when it comes to this sauce and making avgolemono soup:

1. Make sure to temper the sauce. To make avgolemono sauce, you’ll need to whisk two eggs with 1/2 cup of lemon, and while whisking with one hand, pour in two ladles of the hot chicken broth from your soup. That’s really the trickiest part of this soup, but it’s not that difficult.  And if you need to,  ask someone to help you pour in the broth, while you do the whisking.

2. Add avgolemono sauce to the soup at the very end, and immediately remove from heat. This is your very last step in the process, be sure to remove the soup from heat immediately or the eggs might begin to cook and the soup separates (you’re not looking for an egg drop soup here.)

Let’s get to the step-by-step of how to make Greek avgolemono soup, and you’ll see how easy it is…

Step-by-Step for Greek avgolemono soup:

INGREDIENTS

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 to 1 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 to 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 to 1 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cooked boneless chicken breast pieces, shredded
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium-high. Add the carrots, celery and green onions, toss together to saute briefly then stir in the garlic.
  2. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves then raise the heat to high. Once the liquid has come to a rolling boil, add the rice, salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  3. Now stir in the cooked chicken.
  4. To prepare the egg-lemon sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and eggs. While whisking add 2 ladles-full of the broth from the cooking pot (this helps temper the eggs). Once fully combined, add the sauce to the chicken soup and stir. Remove from the heat immediately.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley, if you like. Serve hot with your favorite bread. Enjoy!
  • Cook’s Tip for Rice: Be sure to rinse the rice well. And it helps to soak the rice in water for about 15 minutes or so or until you are able to break one grain of rice easily. The rice will cook quickly and evenly.
  • Can you use orzo instead of rice? Yes, orzo is fine to use. You can use 1 cup orzo, and watch cooking time as orzo will cook more quickly (about 7 minutes or so)