This recipe for avgolemono soup is rich, creamy, tangy, and bright. From a simple combination of eggs, lemon juice, and chicken broth, we get a thick, velvety smooth soup base that is unlike any you have ever tasted.
Jazz up your chicken soup game with this mouthwatering avgolemono soup. Also called Greek lemon chicken soup, this dish is warming and comforting while also being lively and not heavy. It’s filling yet light, which makes it a wonderful appetizer or a simple meal.
Avgolemono soup is traditionally enjoyed as a simple, smooth soup and doesn’t always contain rice and shredded chicken. While it is tasty both ways, I find adding the steamed rice and chicken makes it far more filling. Serve with warm, crusty bread and enjoy!
Table of Contents
- Chicken – I like to use the shredded meat from a rotisserie chicken for this recipe. It is quick, convenient, and full of savory flavor.
- Rice – Steamed white rice adds volume, texture, and a delicate flavor. If preferred, you can substitute brown rice or even orzo pasta.
- Eggs – The MVP of this recipe, eggs give the soup a smooth, creamy texture and luxuriously rich flavor. Have the eggs at room temperature, and not chilled before beginning.
- Lemons – Brightens the entire dish with a lively dose of citrus flavor. You’ll need about ½ a cup of lemon juice for this recipe, about 3 large lemons’ worth. To extract the most juice possible from each lemon, try popping them in the microwave for a few seconds first.
- Chicken Broth – Compliments the lemon-egg mixture with a deep savory flavor. Chicken broth is the classic choice, but feel free to experiment with a vegetable or mushroom-based broth.
- Cracked Pepper – Adds a complimentary, piney, and peppery punch. If you are a fan of lemon pepper dishes, apply generously!
- Fresh Dill – Provides a lovely dash of color and fresh, grassy flavor.
- Heat the Broth. Put the chicken broth in a large saucepan over medium heat to warm.
- Beat the Eggs. Beat the eggs by hand in a bowl. Alternatively, you can put them in a tall cup and use an immersion blender.
- Stir in the Lemon. Slowly add the lemon juice to the eggs, stirring until combined. Then, beating continuously, gradually pour in one cup of the hot chicken broth.
- Thicken the Soup. (Optional) If you prefer a thicker soup, at this point you can add half of the steamed rice to the lemon, egg, and broth mixture and puree until smooth. Be sure to only do this after the warm broth has been beaten in and the eggs are properly tempered.
- Gently Heat. Stir the egg and lemon mixture into the saucepan with the remaining chicken broth and place the pan over low heat. After a minute or two, the soup will thicken.
- Add Chicken & Rice. Now you can add in the shredded rotisserie chicken and steamed rice or, if desired, you can enjoy the soup base without these added ingredients.
- Serve. Serve the avgolemono in bowls, with freshly cracked black pepper and dill sprigs as garnishes.
What are tempered eggs?
Tempering eggs is a culinary technique that involves slowly incorporating a small amount of a hot liquid into beaten eggs while whisking continuously. This equalizes the temperature, preventing the eggs from curdling or scrambling when added to a hot mixture. It’s a skill to create smooth, luscious textures in various recipes.
For the best results when making this Greek lemon chicken soup, be sure to temper the eggs properly. This is the step where the lemon juice and warm broth are gradually added to the beaten eggs and then whisked vigorously to combine.
This process begins the process of slowly, gently cooking the proteins in the eggs, rather than all at once. When eggs are added to hot liquid too quickly, the proteins will bind and you will end up with large, coagulated clumps – think scrambled eggs. Don’t skip this important step!
Avgolemono is a Greek word that translates to “egg-lemon” in English. The term is used to describe the eggy, lemony soup we are discussing today, and it also refers to a larger family of soups and sauces. Any sauce or soup made with a similar process of tempering eggs with lemon juice for flavor and thickness can be described as avgolemono.
Versions of the egg and lemon combination are popular throughout many Mediterranean countries, with slight variations. This Greek version actually has roots all the way back to the 10th century! During this time, Sephardic Jews migrated to Greece from Spain, bringing citrus fruit and delicious, inventive ways to use it.
Definitely! Avgolemono soup can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for 2-3 days. Be sure to let the soup cool completely before transferring it to the fridge.
When reheating, it is important to go slowly to prevent splitting or curdling. Gently warm the soup in a saucepan, over low to medium heat, stirring often.
If desired, you can freeze individual portions of the soup, but I don’t usually recommend it. The freezing and thawing process is a bit too rough on the texture for my liking. If you do freeze some, be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before gently reheating.
Share this recipe on Pinterest!
Love this recipe? Share it with the world on Pinterest.
Greek Avgolemono Soup with Chicken
- cracked black pepper
- dill sprigs
- In a large saucepan over medium heat warm the chicken broth.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl, or if using an immersion blender, a tall cup.
- Slowly add the lemon juice and blend until combined. Slowly add 1 cup of the hot chicken broth, beating continuously.
- Pour this egg/lemon mixture into large saucepan of chicken broth and stir over low heat. Soup will thicken after a minute or two.
- At this point it is a traditional Avgolemono Soup and can be served as is. I like to add steamed white rice (See Note 1) and the chicken.
- Serve in soup bowls and garnish with fresh cracked black pepper and dill sprig.
- If the soup isn’t as thick as you would like, puree half the steamed rice with the egg/lemon mixture in Step 2 above after the chicken broth is beaten in and the eggs are tempered.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.