For all you lemon lovers… -AVGOLEMENO SOUP-
By request- AVGOLEMONO SOUP- (Chicken soup.)
This soup is what we call the best “medicine” for anything really but especially to keep the nasty cold away. If you love lemon and chicken, then this soup is for you. Please scroll down to read my tips on making avgolemono.
Everyone makes their Avgolemeno different, but my yiayia taught me this way plus I add vegetables for flavor in mine.
- 1 whole chicken, remove the excess fat.
- 8 cups of cold water
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 leek, diced
- 1 yellow or white onion, peeled and diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 whole black peppercorns
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta, or rice – (I like both but orzo is one of my fav.)
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2tsp. fresh lemon zest
- Juice of three lemons, strained (my sister likes to use 4)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pinch of fresh dill to serve
- Prepare the chicken stock. Fill a large pot with water and add the whole chicken to the pot. Add the onion, leeks, carrots, celery, peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt.
- Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 hour.
- Remove the chicken and vegetables and set them aside. Strain the broth and return it to the pot. Bring the stock to a boil and then add the rice or orzo. Cook the rice or orzo without covering the pot for 8-10 minutes, until al dente.
- Prepare the avgolemono sauce while rice or orzo is cooking.
- In a large bowl whisk the eggs until frothy, Add the lemon juice and whisk again. Once the rice is done, add 2 cups of the hot broth and add it to the egg-lemon mix. Whisk quickly– this is a tricky but crucial step. (If you don’t whisk the stock into the egg-lemon mixture quickly the eggs may curdle.)
- Once you temper the eggs pour the egg-lemon mixture into the stockpot and quickly stir to combine. Add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer over low heat for a few minutes to thicken the sauce. Your soup should be slightly thickened. If you want to make it thicker, add a tablespoon of cornstarch to a little bit of water. Whisk to combine to make a paste and then add to the soup. Serve with fresh dill and cracked black pepper.
- You can use any part of the chicken really for this soup but I find using a whole chicken makes the best stock.
- Slow cook the chicken for 2 hours if you have the time. When slow cooking this long don’t add the vegetables until about the last “half-hour” so they are not overly cooked.
- Using a mixture of leek, carrot, white or yellow onion, and peppercorns is really nice in the stock. The more herbs the better.
- It is crucial to add the hot broth to the egg-lemon sauce fast while whisking. You do not want to “break” or curdle your sauce.
- When making a thicker sauce you can use flour or cornstarch.
Happy weekend to you! Stay safe.