Avgolemono Soup is the ultimate Greek Chicken Soup recipe, every mum and yiayia has their version and every Greek has been brought up eating a steaming bowl of Avgolemono (or Avgolemoni).
Avgolemono soup – ‘Avgo’ means egg and ‘lemono’, means, well, lemon and when those two humble ingredients are combined it creates a little bit of Greek Cypriot magic! And although Avgolemono is primarily made with egg and lemon, at its heart it’s made with good chicken stock, usually by simmering a whole bird.
Avgolemono Soup is a cure-all recipe, the ultimate soul food – it is said that one bowl of Avgolemono soup will cure anything from a cold to a broken heart.
One of the things that makes this such a brilliant dish is that it is truly a one pot recipe, an entire meal in a bowl. A soul warming chicken stock with pieces of chicken, rice (sometimes pasta but my mum always makes it with rice so I’m not arguing with that!) and a twang of lemon with the egg to create something creamy.
Want more soup recipes? Or more Greek recipes?
Before I list the ingredients; if you can get a gnarly old hen that is tough as old boots – buy it. Use it to make your broth, if not, you might need a stock cube to help give it some extra flavour that you rarely get from an edible bird.
Avgolemono Soup Ingredients:
1 whole chicken (ideally free range or corn fed)
4 pints of water (or chicken stock)
1 stock cube (if using just water and not an old hen to boil)
1 cup arborio rice
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Cover your bird with water, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.
- Once done gently remove the chicken from the pot and add the 1 cup of aborio rice and cook until the rice is al dente (about 15 mins light simmer).
- Once cooked, turn off the heat and let cool for 20 minutes or add a cup of cold water to the broth to bring the temperature down.
- In a separate bowl whisk the 4 eggs and add the juice of 2 lemons.
- Slowly ladle in the broth into the egg mix and keep whisking. You do this to raise the temperature of the eggs. If you pour the egg wash straight into the pot it will curdle and you’ll bin it.
- Keep adding the broth to the eggs until the bowl is full. Once done, do the reverse and slowly add the egg mix back into the soup.
- Do not boil! Whatever you do, for the love of God, do not boil! It will curdle, you literally just want to raise the temperature, I find the best way is to keep it on a low heat and just keep tasting it until it is comfortably warm.
- You’re almost done. Now simply shred some of the boiled chicken you used to make the broth and put in each of the serving bowls, pour in a couple of ladles of Avgolemono soup. Give it a good hit of salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon and a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
The final stage is to gently cup your bowl of soup with both hands, raise it to your nose and breath in deeply.
You may “aaah” at your discretion..