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Avgolemono Soup (Greek Chicken and Lemon Soup)

Hello and welcome, everyone! This week’s frigid temperatures around the country mean one thing to me: Chicken Soup, stat! I have been pining for Avgolemono Soup for a while now, and this week, the time was right! Avgolemono Soup is a Greek Lemon and Chicken Soup with rice, carrots, celery and onion. It’s creamy thanks to a silky beaten egg, lemon juice and broth mixture (the avgolemono sauce), which makes this dairy-free recipe so very comforting.

avgolemono soup ingredients

The Chicken

The first step is to brown your chicken. We are partial to dark meat, so I have 4 small chicken thighs. You can use breasts if you prefer. Add a tablespoon or so olive oil to a skillet and brown the chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes on each side. The chicken will have about 10 more minutes to simmer in the soup, so if it’s not completely cooked through, not to worry. I have skin-on chicken thighs, which I think works well for the browning process; the fat renders nicely, and the skin keeps the meat from drying out in the skillet. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle you can pull off the skin and either discard it, or thinly slice to add as a topping for some crunch. Then shred or cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.

browned chicken thighs

While the chicken is cooking, cut the veggies and measure out your ingredients. In the same pot that you browned the chicken in, add a tablespoon of olive oil and toss in the carrots, onions and celery. Sauté, scraping up the brown bits left by the chicken.

After a minute or two, add the garlic. Once the veggies are slightly softened, add the chicken broth and bay leaves and bring to a boil.

carrots, celery and onion with broth

Once boiling, add the rice and some salt and pepper. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 20 minutes. When the rice is tender, add the shredded chicken to the pot and continue simmering while we make the egg, lemon, broth mixture.

Egg-Lemon-Broth Sauce

The egg-lemon-broth mixture is called avgolemono sauce and it is used to flavor a variety of Greek dishes. It’s what gives this soup its name!

Whisk the eggs well enough so that you don’t see any whites separated from the yolk and whisk in the lemon juice.

avgolemono sauce

Whisk well and using a ladle, scoop a ladle full of broth from the simmering pot. Slowly stream some of the hot broth into the egg-lemon mixture a little at a time, until the ladle full of broth is incorporated into the egg-lemon mixture. Repeat with one more ladle-full of broth. This is tempering the eggs. We don’t want the eggs to scramble by getting too hot too quick.

avgolemono sauce

Then, while stirring the soup, slowly pour the egg-lemon-broth mixture into the pot of soup. Stir well to fully combine.

Avgolemono Soup

ladling avgolemono soup

This is optional, but I highly recommend adding fresh chopped parsley and maybe some more sliced green onions to the pot and to individual bowls. Taste the soup and add more Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

avgolemono soup
avgolemono soup

This soup is lemony and bright. With silky richness, it’s flavorful and hearty without being heavy. If you saved your crispy chicken skin, slice it up thin and sprinkle it on top of individual bowls.

Thank you all so much for spending some of your Wednesday with me! Give this soup a try and let me know what you think, it really hits the spot on these cold days. But I also think because of its fresh lemon flavor, this soup would be a hit any time of year. For another Mediterranean dish, try my Chicken with Artichokes and Olives. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest! Thanks again everyone, Take care and be well, everyone! xo Kelly

Bite of avgolemono soup

Avgolemono Soup (Greek Chicken and Lemon Soup)

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Dinner, Main Course Greek
By Adapted from The Mediterranean Dish Serves: 4-8
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cooking Time: 30 Minutes Total Time: 50 Minutes

Avgolemono Soup is a Greek soup with chicken and rice, cooked with an egg-lemon-broth sauce. It's lemony, fresh and bright. With silky richness, it's flavorful and hearty without being heavy.

Ingredients

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Chicken Thighs, pan seared then shredded or cut
  • 1 cup Carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup Celery, chopped
  • 1 cup Green Onions, sliced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 cup Rice
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

1

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot and add seasoned chicken thighs.

2

Brown well on both sides, about 6-7 minutes each side. Transfer chicken thighs to a separate plate.

3

Adjust the heat to medium and if needed, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the Dutch oven.

4

Add the carrots, celery and onions. Sauté for a couple minutes and add the garlic. Cook for another minute.

5

Add the broth and bay leaves to the pot and increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

6

Once boiling, add the rice and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes.

7

Shred the cooked chicken thighs while the soup is simmering.

8

Add the shredded chicken to the soup and let simmer while you prepare the avgolemono sauce.

Avgolemono Sauce

9

In a medium bowl, whisk the two eggs very well and add the lemon juice, whisk to combine.

10

Scoop 1 ladle full of broth from the simmering soup and while whisking with one hand, slowly stream the hot broth into the eggs and lemon juice mixture, continuously whisking.

11

Repeat with one more ladle-full of hot broth.

12

Remove the simmering soup from heat and stir in the avgolemono sauce. Stir well to fully incorporate the avgolemono sauce.

13

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and more green onions, if you like.

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  • Rhea
    February 17, 2021 at 9:44 am

    This sounds wonderful! Much heartier than the avgolemono soup served in Greek restaurants around Chicago. Thanks so much for posting this one. I hope to try it this weekend.

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 17, 2021 at 9:56 am

      Hello Rhea! Yes, this soup is hearty and so satisfying! I am sure you will enjoy it. Let me know how it goes for you. Stay warm! xo Kelly

  • Linda Miller
    February 17, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Trying this for dinner tonight! Thank you

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 17, 2021 at 1:33 pm

      Wonderful, Linda! Let me know how you like it! Thanks so much for stopping by today, have a great Wednesday. xo Kelly

      • Linda Miller
        February 18, 2021 at 4:43 pm

        It’s definitely a keeper! We both enjoyed it and will serve it again. Thank you!

        • Kelly Djalali
          February 18, 2021 at 4:45 pm

          Wonderful Linda! I am so happy it was a hit! Thanks so much for reporting back, have a great evening. xo Kelly

  • Vivian
    February 17, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Hi Kelly,
    I love soups of all kinds, and this one certainly speaks to me. Btw, your mushroom soup was a winner! One question though…I prefer to use brown rice. However it takes longer to cook. Any ideas for the best way to do this without overcooking the veggies. Thanking you.

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 17, 2021 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Vivian, I am so happy the mushroom soup was a hit! Regarding the rice, you could always cook it separately and then add it when you add the chicken back in. Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes instead of letting it go the full 20, then add in the cooked brown rice and chicken and let it simmer together for about 10 minutes before adding the avgolemono sauce. I recently found fast-cooking brown rice at Trader Joe’s which is kind of a game changer when it comes to brown rice… 🙂 Let me know how it turns out for you if you do the pre-cooked brown rice. Thanks for your question and for stopping by today! xo Kelly