When life gives you lemons, make Avgolemono Soup!
Avgolemono Soup is the most famous of all the Greek soups. Every time I wasn’t feeling well when I was younger my yiayia would make me a giant pot. Luckily, now my husband knows how to make it and will make it for me when I’m feeling less than 100 percent.
Try this easy recipe
You can make Avgolemono Soup in a number of different ways, and every family has their signature recipe. Most know it as a chicken soup with a beautiful egg-lemon sauce folded into it. Avgolemono is the Greek word for the egg-lemon sauce. Some recipes include chicken in the actual soup, some don’t. Just like some recipes include vegetables like carrots, celery and onion, and a starch like orzo pasta or rice. I love the Agrozimi Spelt Orzo available from Zelos Authentic Greek Artisan. Like I said, it’s up to you to make it to your taste. There is no right or wrong way. It’s fun to experiment with all the options too!
What chicken should I use in Avgolemono Soup?
This recipe is hearty and packed with protein. I recommend using succulent chicken thighs instead of traditional shredded chicken breasts, which tend to dry out and get chewy in the soup. I start the recipe by browning cubed chicken thighs. This creates a fond on the bottom of the pot, which equals more depth of flavor.
However, you can skip this step and add in the chicken with the broth. Additionally, you can use whole chicken thighs, or chicken breasts. Either on on or off the bone. Cook them fully in the broth, shred them, and add them back into the soup. If you want to further streamline your cooking time and have some cooked chicken on hand (think leftover rotisserie chicken) add that in at the end.
The long game
If you’re playing the long game, you can start by making your chicken broth from scratch, slowly simmering a whole chicken with aromatics for about two hours, and using the chicken from that in the soup; then adding the avgolemono sauce like I do here. This is how my yiayia used to do it and the payoff is worth it.
Working with the avgolemono sauce
The most important aspect of making the soup is not curdling the avgolemono sauce when you fold it back into the soup. Achieve this by slowly tempering your broth into the blender with your eggs and lemon. Your soup should be off the heat at this point. Then give it a few stirs to bring down the temperature and fold the sauce in while you’re rapidly stirring.
This recipe calls for flour in the avgolemono sauce. This helps thicken the sauce/soup. You don’t need to use it, or you can substitute some corn starch whisked in a bit of water for it.
Add more lemon to taste. I also like my avgolemono soup with a lot of cracked black pepper and some chopped fresh dill.