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Herby Greek Lemon and Chicken Soup

Chicken soup, often referred to as the ultimate comfort food, has transcended cultural boundaries and found its way into the hearts and kitchens of people worldwide. This bright green riff on Avgolemono, a traditional Greek chicken, lemon and egg soup, is bright yet comforting and finished with a zesty olive salsa. 

Deliciously herby Greek lemon and chicken soup.

One such variation that stands out for its distinctive flavor and velvety texture is Avgolemono, a Greek delight that marries the zesty essence of lemon with the comforting warmth of chicken soup.

The Rich History of Chicken Soup

Before delving into the tantalising details of Avgolemono, let’s take a moment to appreciate the rich history of chicken soup. This dish has been a staple in kitchens across the globe for centuries, revered for its ability to provide solace and nourishment.

Chicken soup’s reputation as a home remedy for colds and illnesses is not merely an old wives’ tale; it has a scientific basis. The warmth and hydration offered by the broth, coupled with the nutritional benefits of chicken, vegetables, and herbs, make it a go-to option for those seeking relief from ailments. Now, enter Avgolemono, a Greek variant that adds a burst of citrusy freshness to the classic formula.

The Birth of Avgolemono: Lemon Chicken Soup

Avgolemono, pronounced av-go-LEH-mo-no, is derived from the Greek words “avgo” (egg) and “lemono” (lemon). This luscious soup is renowned for its silky texture, rich flavour, and the magical combination of eggs and lemon that sets it apart from other chicken soups.

The ingredients for this herby Greek lemon and chicken soup typically include chicken, rice or orzo pasta, eggs, and lemons. The genius lies in the preparation method, where a velvety liaison of beaten eggs and lemon juice is gradually incorporated into the hot broth, creating a smooth and luxurious consistency. The result is a soup that tantalizes the taste buds with a perfect balance of savory and tangy notes.

The Key Players: Lemon and Chicken

The star ingredients of my herby Greek lemon and chicken soup are undoubtedly the lemon and chicken. The citrusy brightness of the lemon cuts through the richness of the chicken, imparting a refreshing quality to the soup.

The chicken serves as the hearty foundation of the soup. Whether using a whole chicken, bone-in pieces, or boneless chicken breasts, the meat imparts its savoury essence to the broth during the simmering process. The resulting combination of tender chicken and vibrant lemon creates a harmony that dances on the palate.

The Art of Preparation

Crafting the herby Greek lemon and chicken soup requires a delicate touch and a keen understanding of the interplay between the eggs, lemon, and hot broth. The key is to avoid curdling the eggs while achieving a velvety smooth consistency. The process involves creating a mixture of beaten eggs and lemon juice, then gradually tempering it with small amounts of hot broth before incorporating it back into the soup.

The rice added to the soup, contributes to its heartiness and provides a satisfying textural element. Seasoning with salt, pepper, and a hint of dill and parsley completes the symphony of flavours in this Greek masterpiece.

Health Benefits and Nutritional Value

Beyond its tantalising taste, this herby Greek lemon and chicken soup boasts several health benefits. The chicken provides a good source of protein, while the addition of lemon brings a dose of vitamin C, known for its immune-boosting properties. The broth itself, made by simmering chicken with aromatic vegetables, is nutrient-rich and hydrating.

Additionally, the eggs in Avgolemono contribute to the soup’s texture and nutritional profile. Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, making my herby Greek lemon and chicken soup a wholesome and nourishing option.

Deliciously herby Greek lemon and chicken soup.

Cultural Significance

Avgolemono is more than just a soup; it is a cultural emblem that reflects the warmth and hospitality of Greek cuisine. Often served on festive occasions and family gatherings, Avgolemono carries a sense of tradition and familial connection. Its presence on the table is a testament to the timeless allure of comfort food and the power of simple, quality ingredients.

Loved The Herby Greek Lemon and Chicken Soup?

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with.

Get more soup for your soul! Try my Miso French Onion SoupTwice Baked Potato Soup, or Chicken Soup with Scissor Noodles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is al dente?

“Al dente” is an Italian term that translates to “to the tooth” in English. In describes a state where the food is cooked to be firm to the bite. When pasta or rice is cooked al dente, they retain a slight firmness in the center, offering a pleasant texture that is neither too soft nor too hard. As the rice/orzo will continue to cook as you finish the soup and dish up, it’s important to slightly undercook it for best results.   as

What does it mean to temper eggs?

Tempering eggs is a cooking technique used to gradually raise the temperature of the eggs without causing them to cook or curdle. This process is commonly employed in recipes where eggs are incorporated into hot liquids like soups to prevent the eggs from scrambling due to the sudden introduction of heat. Tempering is crucial in recipes where you want a smooth and creamy texture. 

Deliciously herby Greek lemon and chicken soup.
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Herby Greek Lemon and Chicken Soup


  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 2 - 4 portions

Description

Avgolemono is a Greek delight that marries the zesty essence of lemon with the comforting warmth of chicken soup.


Ingredients

Units
  • 1.2 litres chicken stock
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup (200g) long-grain rice
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (leftover roasted chicken works great)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
  • Small handful (5g) fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • Small handful (5g) fresh dill
  • Olive oil, for sautéing and olive topper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Olive topper

  • 80g green pitted olives, roughly diced
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
  • Small handful of parsley, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, drizzle in a little olive oil, then sauté finely chopped onion, lemon zest, and minced garlic until softened.
  2. Pour most of the chicken stock into the pot with sautéed aromatics, reserving about 60ml for later to blend the herbs. Add a bay leaf and bring it to a simmer. Stir in 2/3 cup (200g) of long-grain rice and cook until al dente.
  3. While the rice is cooking, prepare the olive topper. In a small bowl, mix roughly diced green olives, finely chopped parsley, and olive oil. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Whisk in the egg yolks and lemon juice. Slowly temper the egg mixture by whisking in hot stock from the pot. Be sure to whisk continuously to avoid curdling.
  5. Gradually whisk the tempered egg mixture back into the soup pot. Cook on low heat for about 2 minutes until the soup thickens slightly.
  6. In a blender, combine a small handful of fresh parsley, a small handful of fresh dill, and the reserved cooled chicken stock. Blend until smooth.
  7. Whisk the blended herb mixture into the soup. This will give the soup a bright green colour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Spoon the soup into bowls, add the warm cooked chicken, and drizzle with the prepared olive topper.
  9. Garnish with additional chopped parsley if desired. Enjoy your unique and flavorful green Avgolemono soup with a delightful olive twist!
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 - 30 min
  • Category: Soups
  • Cuisine: Greek

Keywords: Avgolemono, lemon chicken soup, soup with rice

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