Egg, Lemon, and Chicken Soup

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My wife regularly gets after me to make this soup. Most people know it as the Greek dish Avgolemono but there are versions of it all over the Mediterranean and Middle East.

Like grilled cheese and apple pie, the name of the dish pretty well describes it. It’s based on a simple sauce of eggs and lemon juice (great by itself over meat or vegetables) which is then added to a simple chicken soup.

No more, no less, but super easy and pantry simple. Singing my song.

 

My recipe only serves two people. See, the one downside of this soup in my opinion, it doesn’t keep too well. You can refrigerate it and bring up ever so gently over low heat but it’s not quite the same. The eggs don’t rebound as gracefully as you might hope.

 

But did I mention how quickly you can pull this together?

For the shredded chicken, you should just use leftover if you have it. Maybe from what was left of that rotisserie chicken you stuck in the refrigerator a couple of days ago behind the lettuce you swear you’ll use before it goes bad this time? Remember that? You only need a half-cup or so. Not everyone even adds it, I just like it.

Grab a quart of chicken stock from the freezer to defrost in the soup pot and you’re half-way home.

(I get these quart containers online and use regular painter’s tape to label them. It works fantastic! I get the half-size containers too.)

Egg, lemon, and chicken soup mise en place.

Bring the stock to a boil. Taste your stock. The boxed and canned ones from the grocery tend to have more than enough salt in them already. When I make my own stock (which is more often than not), I don’t add any salt.

Add the orzo pasta. You can use rice if you’d like — and many people do — but you’ll have to cook it longer.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and lemon juice together until they’re frothy.

Then, gradually ladle some of the hot stock into the bowl while you’re still constantly whisking. This is called tempering and the idea here is to bring the temperature of the eggs up but not end up with scrambled eggs. If you keep whisking there will be no small pieces of cooked egg but rather a cooked sauce. Don’t go crazy, just keep it moving.

Do this with a second good ladle of stock.

 

Now, remove the soup from the heat and wait a few seconds for any boiling to stop.

Then, whisk the eggs and lemon mixture into the soup.

Finally, stir in the shredded chicken. It should be warm enough in the couple of minutes it takes you to find bowls and spoons.

What’s not to love?

Be well, friends.

A bowl of egg, lemon, and chicken soup.

Egg, Lemon, and Chicken Soup

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Bill

Egg, Lemon, and Chicken Soup is a Mediterranean favorite rumored to cure the common cold. I don't know about that but it sure is good, quick, easy, and affordable. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup orzo
  • 3 eggs
  • juice of a large lemon about 2-3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup shredded chicken leftovers work great
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring the chicken stock to a gentle boil. Add the orzo and allow to cook until almost done stirring occasionally. Season the stock as desired (taste, season, repeat).

  2. Whisk the eggs in a bowl until they're very well-mixed.

  3. Whisk the lemon juice into the eggs.

  4. Gradually add two ladles of the hot stock to the egg and lemon mixture bowl, still whisking to temper the mix. 

  5. Remove the soup pot from the heat and wait for the obvious boiling to stop.

  6. Gradually whisk the egg and lemon mix into the pot.

  7. Stir in the shredded chicken.

  8. Check the salt and pepper seasoning and adjust as desired.

  9. Serve with additional lemon slices or wedges if desired.


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8 thoughts on “Egg, Lemon, and Chicken Soup

  1. I find avgolemono great for dinner parties . . . the lemon gives an interesting and appetizing ‘beginning’ flavour for the next courses to come! Rice is my usual addition to only home-made stock . . . can’t bear the unhealthy, tasteless rubbish sold in ‘the store’ 🙂 !!

    • I’ve tried a couple of grocery stocks that were okay enough in a pinch, but I prefer homemade. Especially when it’s so easy to make. Thanks, Eha.

  2. Avgolemono soup was one of my favorites at the restaurant my son used cook in. I haven’t thought of it in ages, so your post flashed me back to another good food memory. I’ve actually never made it, but you’ve inspired me.

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