This quick, easy version of Greek Avgolemono — lemon soup — is great when you're in the mood for chicken soup but are tired of the noodle standby. Try pairing this with a bright and citrusy pinot grigio and serve this either with some warm, crusty bread, or as a prelude to a veritable Greek feast.
5 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
2/3 cup long-grain rice
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 large chicken breast, cut into small dice
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh Greek oregano or parsley, chopped, for garnish
In a large stock pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and cook for 10–15 minutes, or until grains are tender. Once the rice is cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
In a bowl, beat the eggs until thick, then whisk in lemon juice and zest. Gradually add in a 1/2 cup of the hot broth from the pot, whisking constantly, in order to temper the egg mixture. Add in another 1/2 cup of broth, whisking again, then repeat with another 1/2 cup.
Pour the mixture back into the stock pot with the chicken broth and reheat over low heat. Add in the diced chicken, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly until the chicken is cooked through and the soup has thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, garnish with oregano or parsley
Cooking time: 30 to 40 minutes
Wine pairing recommendation: Try the soup with a glass of dry white like the 2009 Gaetano D'Aquino Pinot Grigio. This great-value light bodied Italian white has a nice, mellow acidity with notes of fresh-cut grass and green apple.
The traditional Egg-lemon sauce (Greek Avgolemono) recipe
Although the basic Greek Avgolemono recipe is relatively simple, experience has shown me that it can be really tricky. If you have ever tried making your own Avgolemono (egg lemon sauce) before lots of things can go wrong leading to a disaster! The most common mistake is that the Avgolemono (egg lemon sauce) curdles and gets lumpy. To prevent you from making the same mistakes, I have put together this short and simple guide to the perfect Avgolemono sauce and help you succeed every single time.
Place the chicken on a plate and season all over with the salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the broth, rice, white pepper, dill sprigs, and bay leaf to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is al dente, about 5 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the chicken.
Cover and let sit until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Discard the dill sprigs and bay leaf. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 3/4 cup of the rice to a blender. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and yolks to the blender as well.
Process until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Using a soup ladle, transfer about 3/4 cup of the broth to the blender and process until smooth, 10 seconds (be sure to leave the hole in the lid open and cover with a kitchen towel to allow the steam to escape). Add another ladleful of broth to the blender and process again.
Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pot, stirring until evenly combined. Add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Do not boil. (The soup will be a bit frothy at this point don’t worry, the froth will settle as it simmers.) Taste the rice to see if it’s cooked through. If it needs a few more minutes, gently simmer the soup until the rice is cooked.
Right before serving, stir in the chopped dill and the chicken, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. If the soup is too lemony, add more cream. If the soup is too thick, thin it with a bit of water.
Serve immediately, as the soup thickens up quite a bit as it sits.
Avgolemono Soup – Greek Egg Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice Recipe
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.
I love making this soup for my Los Angeles personal chef clients. It’s so hearty and satisfying. It’s probably one of my most favorite Greek recipes to make next to Spanakopita.
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!
Try this easy recipe
This recipe is hearty and packed with protein. I love using succulent chicken thighs instead of traditional shredded chicken breasts, which tend to dry out and get chewy in the soup. 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 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 add it back into the soup. Achieve this by slowly tempering your broth into the blender with your eggs and lemon. Then take your soup off the heat, 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 with a lot of cracked black pepper and some chopped fresh dill.
Avgolemono Soup Step-By-Step
How to Avgolemono Soup — Egg-Lemon Soup with Chicken by xtinaxenos on Jumprope.
Psst… check out all my favorite chicken soups!
See there is a perfect spot right up there for my new delicious Greek chicken soup, Avgolemono. Avgolemono literally means egg-lemon. And that is precisely what this soup is. A simple concoction of flavors that is comfort food and healthy food all in one. All that lemony and chicken goodness soothes the tummy and the sniffles.
I first had this Avgolemono soup at a local Greek restaurant that I frequently grabbed salads and gyros from. One day, I wasn’t feeling all that hot and ordered their signature Greek chicken soup option. In front of me, appeared a beautiful bowl overflowing with a smooth yellow soup that had soothing aromas emanating from it. I inhaled the soup in a few minutes, burning my tongue and simultaneously clearing out my sniffles.
I happened to find a recipe of this Avgolemono soup in this month’s Cooks Illustrated, aka my favorite cooking magazine ever! In there they showed the science of how to make a silky and velvety soup without ending up with a gummy overly tart paste. (yuck)
Characteristically Avgolemono is a broth thickened with egg yolks with a few tender pieces of chicken and perfectly cooked rice grains interlaced. The end result is a silky soup with a deliciously refreshing lemony finish. The perfect end all for colds, tummy aches and general blues.
Greek lemon Chicken Soup recipe (Kotosoupa Avgolemono)
- Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 90 min
- Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 portions 1 x
- Category: Soups
- Method: Boiled
- Cuisine: Greek
The perfect dish for a cold winter’s day! ‘Kotosoupa Avgolemono’ is a hearty and delicious classic Greek lemon chicken soup, bursting with Mediterranean flavours.
- 1 chicken (1-1.2 kg/ 35-40 ounces)
- 1 red onion, peeled
- 5 cups of water
- 150 – 200 g short-grain rice, like Arborio ( 6 – 7 ounces)
- 2 large eggs
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 carrots (optional)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Similar recipes you may like!
- To prepare this traditional Greek lemon chicken soup, wash thoroughly the chicken and place in a deep pan. Push the chicken with your hands down to the bottom of the pan, add the onion, whole (and the carrot), pour in the water (the water should cover the chicken) and season. Place on high heat, put the lid on and bring to the boil turn the heat down and boil the chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (the chicken is ready, when the meat can be removed easily from the bones). While the chicken boils, some white foam will probably surface on the water. Remove that foam with a slotted spoon.
- Remove the chicken from the broth and strain the broth. Add the hot broth in a pan, add the rice and season with salt and pepper and boil, until done.
- In the meantime, if the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Dice the meat into bites.
- To prepare the egg lemon sauce for this Greek lemon chicken soup, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk, until foamy add the lemon juice and whisk again. Add into the bowl a ladle of hot soup and whisk quickly. Add one more ladle and whisk again, so that the eggs get warm. Pour the egg mixture back into the pot, whilst constantly stirring, put the lid on and leave for 3-4 minutes.
- Serve this delicious Greek lemon chicken soup while still warm. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the diced chicken and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper or paprika. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 277kcal
- Sugar: 2.3g
- Sodium: 376mg
- Fat: 4.7g
- Saturated Fat: 1.1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2.2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 25.2g
- Fiber: 0.8g
- Protein: 31.5g
- Cholesterol: 137mg
Keywords: Kotosoupa Avgolemono, Greek Lemon Chicken Soup, Traditional Avgolemono Soup
Greek Avgolemono Soup
Hi. Didn´t know this recipe.
It´s similar to our chicken soup "Canja" until you add the eggs.
A bit off topic: I have a gift for you in Portuguese Menu. You don´t have to blog about it if you don´t want, I just like your blog and thought I could share the awards with my favorite food blogs.
A good Sunday. Mizé.
This soup looks so thick with an easy recipe & all rich ingredients.
We love soups in winter, warming nourishing and usually make my own. This one looks so thick and my kids like thick one too. I would give it a try.
My yiayia always beat the egg whites first when making avgolemono. I always thought it was an unnecessary extra step but I made give it a try again.
Excellent recipe! Death Ave, Estiatorio in NYC makes their soup very similar and we love them for it. The only noticable difference is that they use brown rice. Anyways we followed your recipe and it was almost the same )
The simple truth is I like this article, the author's writing was very honest, very clever writing skills.
Hi. Didn´t know this recipe.
It´s similar to our chicken soup "Canja" until you add the eggs.
It looks really yummy i really like any kind of soup but once i tried hot and sour soup recipe found on internet was just mouthwatering. Thank you so much for sharing such a nice post.
This is it . The real deal :):):):) authentic . :):):)
Welcome to our blog! Here you can learn how to prepare delicious, traditional Greek dishes from recipes used in the home by local mothers and grandmothers! A lot of them are well-known and others perhaps not so well-known outside Greece. These are all recipes prepared by my wife Maria - she loves cooking and I love eating, so we make a great team!
We live on the island of Corfu in Greece and Maria comes from a family of chefs. Her recipes combine know-how with the simplicity of local, traditional Greek cooking.
These recipes are all for 4- 6 servings (depending on your appetite!) but if anything is left over it can easily be saved for the next day, which is what we do.
There is a Metric Converter towards the bottom of this sidebar if you need it.
A silky, rich Greek chicken and lemon soup with egg and rice that will warm you up from the inside.
I learned the recipe for this soup from a woman who immigrated to the US from Greece when she was nine. She taught me that whether I chose to shred the cooked chicken in the soup, or serve it on the side, either would be correct. She used skinless chicken or chicken with skin, but would discard the skin after cooking. Her family would use either orzo, rice or pastina, and variations were welcomed.
The soup consistency was always the same, though. She was adamant that the soup should not simmer too hard or have too much liquid because the richness and silkiness would be lost. Traditionally, this recipe was used as a sauce to drape over cooked chicken, instead of being served as a standalone soup. Take gentle care when reheating, as too high a heat will cook the egg in the soup and the silky texture will be lost. More chicken is used to make the broth than is needed for the soup, so save the remaining legs and thighs for another use or double the soup recipe to use all the meat. Traditional garnishes are dill and black pepper.
- 1 1.35 kg (3 lb) chicken, quartered
- 1.9 litres (64 fl oz/8 cups) water or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 yellow onion, cut into 1 cm (½ in) cubes
- 2 bay leaves
- 100 g (3½ oz/½ cup) white long-grain rice
- 3 large eggs
- 75 ml (2½ fl oz) lemon juice, plus extra to taste
- dill, to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Place the chicken in a large pot and add the water or stock. Add the salt, the onion and bay leaves and bring to a very gentle simmer. Weigh down the chicken with a plate or two, making sure it is fully submerged and cook for 20–30 minutes until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of leg and thigh and thickest part of the breast reads 74°C (165°F). Using a fine-meshed sieve, separate the chicken, onion and bay leaves from the broth. Place the chicken on a baking tray or plate and leave to cool at room temperature and discard the onion and bay leaves.
2. Bring the strained broth to a simmer, add the rice and cook for 7–9 minutes until just tender.
3. Meanwhile, use an immersion blender or blender to mix the eggs and lemon together until completely combined, then set aside. Using your hands, shred two chicken breasts into small pieces this should yield about 350 g (12½ oz/2 cups) shredded chicken. Set aside.
4. When the rice is tender, ladle a few spoonfuls of the hot broth into the egg mixture. Add more broth, a spoonful at a time, until the egg mixture is warm. Adding too much hot liquid to the eggs will curdle them, so do this step slowly.
5. When the egg mixture is warm, you should have around two cups of liquid. Turn off the heat and drizzle the egg mixture into the hot broth, stirring constantly with a whisk. The soup should thicken and become silky. Add the reserved chicken and season with salt. Add lemon juice to taste and garnish with dill to serve.
Recipe and image from The Chicken Soup Manifesto by Jenn Louis, Published by Hardie Grant (RRP $45.00)
Easy Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Soup)
- This lemon soup made with orzo is like a Greek-style chicken noodle. Perfect for warming you up on cold days!
This traditional Greek soup not only has wonderful flavor, it has a marvelously satiny texture. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is combined with egg and then whisked into the hot soup to provide a flavor and creaminess that is simply fabulous.
Traditionally, Avgolemono calls for the addition of rice. We're going to shake things up a bit and use orzo instead, a tiny rice-shaped pasta that is great in soups. The end result is a Greek-style chicken noodle soup that will have you dishing up seconds.
To get started, gather up your ingredients.
Place the chicken broth in a medium-sized stockpot and add the orzo. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and then boil for 15 minutes or until the orzo is soft.
Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Add the chicken to the soup. Leave the soup on the burner with the lid on, but turn the burner off.
Whisk the lemon juice and the eggs together in a small bowl.
Add one ladle of warm soup broth to the lemon-egg mixture, whisking continually until incorporated. Whisk in another ladle of broth.
Pour the lemon-egg mixture into the pot of soup and stir until combined and smooth. The temperature of the soup will cook the egg.
Serve immediately, garnished with slices of lemon and coarsely ground black peppercorns.