This dish is a firm family favourite in our house, especially in winter. It’s so simple and easy to make and with every food group represented it is highly nutritious, which makes it the perfect comfort food.
This authentic Greek avgolemono soup recipe will be a winner for your family too, guaranteed!
Avgolemono literally means ‘egg’ and ‘lemon’ in Greek and those are indeed the two main ingredients in this famous Greek soup.
Like so many Greek dishes there are many variations of this recipe and everyone will say the one that their Yiayia makes or the one from their village is the best. The variations are not significant and often just have to do with the quantities of the ingredients or the spices added.
It’s a fairly straight-forward process to make with a good stock as the foundation, although there is a magic trick towards the end that prevents the eggs from curdling and creates a foam on the top, something you won’t generally see in taverna’s as it has to be done fresh and on the spot.
Lemon soups are not uncommon across the Mediterranean and the Middle East as is the pairing of lemon with protein such as chicken or lamb.
The name for this sort of soup in Turkey is ‘Terbiye’ and in Arabic it is called ‘Tarbiya’, both of which mean ‘treatment’, which again refers to the highly nutritious nature of the dish.
It is believed the dish may have come to Greece with the Sephardic Jews from Spain who widely used citrus in their cooking. There are similar dishes found across The Balkans and even in Italy.
In Greece, you will also find other dishes on menus that include Avgolemno ‘sauce’ particularly over Dolmades and Cabbage rolls. It is thicker of course but has the same flavour.
Authentic greek avgolemono soup recipe
One of the most famous Greek soups that uses simple local ingredients usually found quite easily in any town or village.
Serve with crusty bread or crackers.
- 1 chicken
- 2 large lemons
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of short grain rice
- 1 large onion
- 1 carrot ( optional)
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 1 bouquet garni
- 2 star anise
- salt and pepper
- Chop onion ( and carrot).
- Heat a large pot filled 2/3rds with water
- Add the whole chicken, the vegetables and the herbs and spices to the pot and simmer for 1 hour on low
- remove the chicken and allow to cool and then shred the meat ( removing any skin and bones)
- strain the stock
- add the rice and simmer a further 10 minutes
- Beat the eggs
- add the juice of both lemons and beat some more
- add a large ladle of stock to the mixture and beat some more
- pour this mixture back into the soup, stirring gently
- ladle into bowls and add shredded chicken to the middle
- season liberally with pepper
To achieve a really fluffy foam on the top add some whipped egg whites to the egg and lemon mixture and fold in gently
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