Greek chicken soup for the soul
I have wanted to make this soup forever, and I have no idea what’s been stopping me.
Avgolemono is the chicken soup of Greece, and as we know, pretty much every country has its own version of a comforting chicken soup. In Greek, avgolemono means “egg lemon” — which is appropriate because the soup is built on a broth that is rich with eggs and deliciously bright and tangy with lemon juice.
While cooking the raw chicken in the simmering broth adds extra richness to the soup, you also could make the broth and simply add leftover cooked and shredded or chopped chicken. Just add about 6 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken along with the cooked rice.
When you gradually add the hot broth to the egg mixture, you are tempering the eggs. If you were to add the egg mixture to the pot all at once, even if you whisked very fast, you would end up with cooked strands of eggs punctuating the soup. Adding the hot liquid in a slow steady stream to the eggs, while whisking all the while, thickens the eggs but keeps them from scrambling.
Once the mixture has become thick, smooth and warm, you can whisk it into the soup.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 cups (2 quarts) low-sodium chicken broth or stock
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds), cut into very small chunks
2 1/2 cups cooked white rice
4 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until slightly golden. Add the broth, then increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to medium and, keeping the broth at a simmer, add the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is mostly cooked through. Add the cooked rice and stir well. Return to a gentle simmer.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until smooth, then beat in the lemon juice. Working quickly, whisk the egg mixture while you drizzle in a ladleful of the hot broth from the pot. Drizzle in another ladleful, whisking all the while, then transfer the hot egg-lemon mixture back to the pot, whisking as you add it. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Stir in the parsley and peas, then return to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, then serve hot. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 290 calories; 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat; 21 percent calories from fat); 20 g carbohydrates; 3 g sugar; 195 mg cholesterol; 760 mg sodium; 33 g protein; 1 g fiber.