My love of Greek food knows no bounds. This is a simple soup packed with delicious lemon flavor. It’s super lemony so of course I love it. Lemon is one of my favorite flavors! This is the perfect, bright dish to warm up with on a dreary night.
It’s been a cold and rainy week in Dallas and I was craving Avgolemono, Greek Lemon Chicken Soup. I started looking up recipes online and was startled to see many with carrots, celery, onion, and other non-traditional ingredients. “I’m positive that’s not how it’s made in Greece!” I said to my Cavalier King Charles Henry, who wagged his tail sweetly, which I assumed meant he agreed. Luckily for my Rosies, I purchased a cookbook when I studied abroad in Greece at age nineteen and I was positive Avgolemono was in it.
I curled up with my Athenian cookbook to see how it’s really done in Greece. I was startled to see the ingredients: water, a whole chicken, rice, 2 eggs, 2 lemons. That’s it! That’s the entire ingredient list. I was right, no holy trinity in sight but boiled chicken? Hmm. So once again, I threw everything out the window and made my own (mostly traditional) version of Avgolemono.
I prefer roasted bone-in chicken to boiled, so I started by roasting a large skin-on , bone-in chicken breast in the oven, shredded it, then cooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta) in chicken broth (yum!), beat and tempered eggs, then mixed it all together with some fresh lemon juice and dill from my garden. (Italian parsley would also be great. Oregano would be a bit overpowering but still delicious.)
Side bar: how darling is my Beauty and the Beast soup pot from Le Creuset?!
Once the chicken is cooked, this soup comes together in less than twenty minutes. The only tricky thing about this recipe is tempering the eggs. Take care to very slowly stream the warm broth into the eggs, so as to not accidentally cook them. No one wants egg pieces floating in their soup! Other than that, this soup is easy to make and was incredibly comforting on a cold night. Plus, it’s super healthy! Gotta love soup season.
Avgolemono, Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
1 pound bone-in, skin-on chicken breast
6 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup orzo
2 small lemons or one large lemon (1/4 cup juice)
2 large eggs
Fresh chopped dill
- Drizzle chicken breast with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-45 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and let cool while you prepare the soup.
- In a large soup pot set over medium high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add orzo and boil for about two minutes less than the package instructs.
- In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a metal whisk. Temper the eggs by slowly drizzling one cup of the hot broth, whisk constantly, in the beaten eggs until the egg mixture is warmed through. Slowly add the egg mixture to the broth, reduce heat to medium low, and cook, whisking constantly, until soup has thickened to the consistency of heavy cream (5-10 minutes).
- Shred chicken and add to soup with 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, stirring well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in fresh dill and serve immediately.
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Stay warm and cozy,