One of our favorites. What sets this apart from your average chicken soup is the lemon and egg mixture. While close, I won’t claim that this is the original Avgolemono Soup. It’s inspired by Avgolemono, but even in Greece there are so many versions of this soup, it would be unwise to claim it as the same. Again, it’s inspired.
Avgolemono is the silky sauce made from lemons and eggs and homemade chicken stock. We use organic eggs, fresh lemon juice, fresh herbs and home-made chicken stock, so the flavor is all there. This egg-lemon mixture is what adds the distinct flavor, a bit of thickening agent and bright color. The chicken stock is amazing on its own, but adding in the lemon, eggs and herbs … omg. It’s loaded with protein and potassium and makes the perfect breakfast soup, outstanding for lunch and a light, but satisfying meal for dinner. Hope you like this version of this classic Greek comfort food.
Makes approximately 6 portions (you won’t use all your chicken stock for this one recipe. However, if you’re planning to serve more than six or more and/or plan to freeze, you can use all the stock and double up on all the ingredients for the soup)
FOR the CHICKEN STOCK
Makes approximately 4 to 5 quarts
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled & quartered
- 8-10 cloves garlic, fresh
- 4 stalks organic celery, cut in 2″ lengths
- 2 large organic carrots, skin on, cut in 2″ lengths
- 1 whole organic chicken, about 3-1/2 pounds
- 5-6 organic chicken feet (optional)
- 4 qrts water
- ! T Kosher salt
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 4 organic bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh organic turmeric, grated
In a large stock pot on medium-high heat, add olive oil, onion, garlic, celery, carrot and bay leaves. Saute for about 5 minutes to enhance flavors of aromatics. Drop in whole chicken and chicken feet (if using feet) and pour water in. Add salt and peppercorns and bring ingredients to a boil. Skim off the foam that forms at the top and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for approximately 90 minutes. Once done simmering, take pot off the stove and remove chicken. Set aside to cool. Discard chicken feet, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. If you want to use the vegetables (carrots, celery and onions) for your soup, you can. Personally I like to sauté more carrots and celery and add them to the strained soup. The integrity of the vegetable after 90 minutes is a little less than what I like in the bite of a vegetable in soup. Pour stock through a sieve into another large pot. You’ll need 2 quarts of the broth for your soup. The remainder can be put into sterile jars with lids and frozen for another day. Return the 2 quarts of chicken broth to the stove top. When chicken is cool, pull meat from bones and shred. You’ll need at least 4 cups for the soup.
FOR THE SOUP
- 1-1/2 C orzo, cooked al dente, according to directions
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 organic carrots, diced (approximately 2 cups)
- 2 stalks organic celery, diced (approximately 1 cup)
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
- 8 organic eggs, separated
- 1/2 C fresh lemon juice, or more depending on how lemony your lemons are. They do vary.
- 1 T fresh lemon zest, organic
- 4 C organic baby spinach
- 4 C shredded chicken from the chicken broth cooked earlier
- 1/3 C organic Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/4 C organic dill sprigs
- Kosher salt & cracked black pepper
In a sauté’ pan on medium heat, add olive oil, carrots, celery, thyme and minced garlic. Cook until vegetables are fork tender – approximately 5 minutes. Stir often so garlic doesn’t burn. Take off heat and set aside until ready to add to soup. Separate the eggs into 2 bowls. Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the yolks and whisk both together. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk together. Stream in 1/2 cup of the hot broth to the lemon mixture while whisking rapidly. This is to temper the broth and to help keep the eggs from scrambling. Add another 1/2 cup of broth while whisking. Continue adding broth until the lemon-egg-broth mixture is quite warm. Add this warm mixture to the primary 2 quarts of broth, again whisking as you stream it in. Add cooked carrots and celery, baby spinach, shredded chicken, cooked orzo and parsley and warm on low heat for approximately 10 minutes. If you find that you need more stock, you can certainly add more. Serve with a garnish of parsley, dill sprigs and season with pepper and salt.
Fresh lemon juice is required. Please do not make this wonderful soup with bottled lemon juice. 🙂
If you should find that some of your eggs “scrambled” in the process of tempering and pouring into the main stock, you can use an emersion blender to blend it in more. You want to do this prior to adding vegetables, chicken, herbs.