Avgolemono

Chicken Soup with Egg & Lemon

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Falling Cloudberries

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2004

  • About

You could easily add some unauthentic thyme sprigs or other herbs to infuse the broth of this classic Greek soup. My aunt even makes avgolemono with lamb instead of chicken, to celebrate the end of the fast for Easter. It is rich and delicious, simple and nourishing, and gives you two courses from one recipe (the soup and then the beautiful poached chicken). Egg and lemon is very popular as a finish for soups and sauces in Greek cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken (about 1.3 kg/3 lb)
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 celery stalk with leaves, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large carrot, cut into half
  • a few parsley stalks
  • a few black peppercorns
  • 100 g (½ cup) long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 2 eggs
  • juice of 2 lemons

Method

Rinse the chicken well and put it in a large stockpot with the onion, celery, carrot, parsley stalks, peppercorns and a good sprinkling of salt. Cover with about 3.5 litres (14 cups) of cold water and bring to the boil. Skim the surface with a slotted spoon, lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 1½ hours, skimming occasionally. Lift the chicken out onto a plate with a slotted spoon. Strain the broth through a sieve, pressing down lightly on the vegetables with your wooden spoon to extract the flavour. You should have about 1.5 litres (6 cups) of broth. Return this to the saucepan, add the rice and cook over medium heat for another 15 minutes or so, until the rice is cooked.

Whisk the eggs until they are fluffy. Add the lemon juice. Add a ladleful of hot broth to the egg, whisking to stop it scrambling. Whisk in a little more broth, then add the whole lot to the pan. Return the saucepan to the lowest possible heat for a few minutes to warm the egg through. Add some salt and pepper and serve immediately. If you like, shred one of the chicken breasts and scatter over the soup. Serve the rest of the chicken as a second course.