Avgolemono, which translates to egg-lemon sauce, is usually a Greek cuisine made of egg yolk and lemon juice, mixed together with broth and heated until soup thickens. This dish has also its equivalent in various countries like Turkey, the Arab states and even in Italy.
In any Greek occasion, Avgolemono soup would most probably be served. It is so iconic you can find this in all Greek restaurants.
The most common broth used is chicken, although meat, fish or vegetable broth may also be used. The carbohydrates in the form of rice or pastina or tapioca are cooked in the broth before the mixture of eggs and lemon is added. Some use whole eggs, while others just have the yolks. If you are using whole eggs, the white may be separated ahead. This is then beaten into foam. Then it is mixed with the yolks and lemon juice.
Here are the ingredients you need: (6 – 8 servings)
(1 hour approximate time of preparation)
- 1 piece whole chicken (approximately 3 lbs), excess fat and skin removed
- 12 cups water
- 2 pieces carrots, halved
- 2 pieces celery stalks, halved
- 1 piece onion, peeled and halved
- 2 pieces bay leaves
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup white rice, uncooked
- 3 pieces eggs, beaten
- 2 pieces lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp. zest of lemon
Preparation of the chicken:
- Clean the chicken under running water, removing fat.
- Place chicken and vegetables in a large pot with water. The water should be 1 inch more that the other ingredients. Cover the pot;
- Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 45 minutes;
- While it simmers, scoop out the fat which collects at the top;
- When chicken is done, remove from pot, and put on plate to cool. The chicken is done when the meat is easily removed from the bone;
- Add the rice into the broth in the pot. Season with salt and pepper;
- Simmer the rice on low heat for 20 minutes or until it is tender.
Preparation of the eggs and lemon: (using whole eggs)
- Break the eggs into a bowl with lemon juice, and whisk it;
- When the rice is cooked, turn off the fire;
- ladle the broth into the eggs mixture slowly, mixing as you pour so the eggs do not curdle;
- Pour and mix until the eggs mixture is heated, then pour the whole thing into the pot and whisk briskly until the soup is creamy;
- Season with salt, pepper or lemon juice;
- If you want really thick soup, you can add the mixture of 2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in warm water into the soup.
- You may place cut portions of the chicken into the soup to make it more filling;
- You can add lemon zest on top of the soup to add more zing;
- This can also be served with bread which can be dipped into the soup.
This is an easy soup to make, and you can save the leftover’s. Vacuum sealing the leftover soup is a good way to ensure it stays fresh and will not have freezer burn once placed inside the freezer. When you are ready to eat, you can reheat in the microwave.
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