Chicken Avgolemono Soup

Chicken Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono is a classic Greek combination of egg (avgo), lemon (lemono) and stock to create a tangy soup or sauce. As a soup it’s usually made from chicken stock with rice cooked in it, a typical example of peasant cuisine where nothing is wasted (the meat from the chicken bones added back into the soup) and a little goes a long way with the rice and egg helping to make it more filling; leftovers taste even better the next day too. Although usually considered Greek, the egg-lemon-stock combination is also popular in Turkish, Arabic, Balkan, Sephardic Jewish, and Italian cooking – I guess great flavours don’t worry about geographic boundaries! So, with a nod to Spain, I love a glass of Gonzalez Byass Elegante Fino Sherry with my avgolemono soup.

Serves 4 as a starter

Ingredients
  • 1kg chicken frames
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves, torn
  • 100g long grain rice
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup strained lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill, plus sprigs for garnish
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Method
  1. Place chicken, onion, celery and bay leaves into a saucepan with 2 litres of cold water and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour, then set aside until chicken is cool enough to handle.
  3. Strain, reserve the liquid, remove meat from the frames and discard remaining solids.
  4. Return liquid to a clean pan, bring to the boil, add rice, salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat.
  6. Whisk eggs until frothy, then whisk in lemon juice.
  7. Whisk in about half a cup of the hot stock, a little at a time.
  8. Whisk egg mixture into the soup.
  9. Taste and add more salt (it will need it) and more pepper if you like.
  10. Stir through the chicken meat and chopped dill, cover and set aside for a few minutes.
  11. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with oil, garnish with dill sprigs and serve your chicken avgolemono soup immediately.

Like this recipe? You’ll love A Month of Greek Inspired by Janni Kyritsis!

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