Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemeno)
The weather is getting cooler. A/C is being traded out for that burnt smell the first time you turn your heat on. Falling leaves. Halloween costumes. Bonfires. Boots. Scarves. Pumpkins. Pumpkin Spice. Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
None of these things really have much in common with this recipe, other than the fact that cooler weather means its soup season!
Avgolemeno is a traditional Greek soup with a beautiful fresh lemony broth. I fell in love with a version of it at Taziki’s, a Greek restaurant with a couple of outposts in Nashville – theirs being sans egg. What? Egg? In soup? “Not unless its Asian” you might say. I am happy to inform you that that is wrong, and this is delicious. The egg is tempered into a mixture of chicken broth and lemon juice and creates a creamy broth you would have otherwise only gotten from well, cream. In a word, its delightful. For me this soup has become what I crave when not feeling well. The lemon gives you that kick of vitamin C (and if you read this blog with any frequency you know I love lemon), and chicken soup is just nostalgic, wouldn’t ya say?
The second fantastic thing about this soup, after its relative deliciousness, is a) how easy it is to make and b) it is the bestest use of leftovers.
First of all, buy one of those whole rotisserie chickens from the grocery store. They are easily one of the best bargains in the place. $5-8 bucks for a whole chicken, already cooked? Sold. If you are cooking for 1, all the better – eat it for a meal or two, then shred up the rest and put it in the freezer. Then you have chicken to make this soup!
Next, rice. Leftover rice works great here. Or make a pot while you pull the rest of the ingredients together. There isn’t much to this soup other than warming everything up and mixing it together, so if the broth bubbles a bit longer because your rice isn’t quite done, no big deal!
Seriously. Read the recipe. It’s too easy to not try at least once.
GREEK LEMON CHICKEN SOUP
Time: 20 minutes
2 quarts chicken stock
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups cooked rice (basmati or jasmine are great here, but any white rice will do)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs freshly chopped parsley
salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot bring broth to a simmer. Add chicken and allow to warm through. In a separate bowl, add lemon juice, eggs, salt & pepper. Whisk until combined. While whisking, slowly ladle 2 cups of the hot broth into the egg mixture, tempering the eggs. Pour the egg mixture into the broth and bring back to a simmer. Once thoroughly heated, spoon rice into the bottom of each serving bowl, then top with soup. Garnish with parsley and serve!