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If you haven’t tried avgolemono yet, you are in for a treat. This Greek lemon chicken soup is essentially chicken noodle soup but kicked up a few notches – made silky and tart with the addition of a unique sauce made from lemon juice, eggs, and broth. And the results are dreamy!
This soup is prepared in many homes in both Greece and Cyprus, and is considered to be a comfort food. I absolutely love this soup and look forward to enjoying it even more as the weather gets cooler. It’s the perfect hearty, comforting dish to warm up with.
Avgolemono (αυγολέμονο) refers to the egg and lemon sauce that makes this soup so special. The sauce serves as a thickening agent in the soup, and gives it a wonderfully creamy texture with no dairy products.
Traditionally, the chicken in this soup is boiled. But I like to sauté the chicken to have seasoned, tender, bite-sized pieces. Also, while avgolemono is often made with rice, orzo can also be used and I use orzo in my recipe. However, I included cook notes for both rice or orzo options in the recipe card below.
how to make avgolemono
Greek lemon chicken soup is really easy to make. In fact, there is only minimal prep necessary. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and season them with salt and pepper. Dice the onion and carrot small, and mince the cloves of garlic. Now you’re ready to start cooking!
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Sauté the pieces of chicken for two to three minutes, then remove them from the pan and set them aside for now.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot. Now sauté the diced onion and carrot for a few minutes, then add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add in the chicken broth and a couple bay leaves, and raise the temperature to high heat.
Once the broth is boiling, add in the cooked chicken, dry orzo, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the orzo has cooked, about ten to twelve minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice with three eggs.
Then you’re going to very slowly pour in two ladle-fulls of broth from the pot, all the while continuing to whisk. The slow addition of the warm broth will temper the eggs, creating the avgolemono sauce.
Pour the lemon/egg sauce into the soup pot and stir it to combine. Remove the pot from the heat straight away.
Your delicious avgolemono is now ready to be enjoyed. I serve mine garnished with some chopped, fresh chives.
This soup is so flavourful and comforting. It’s nice and cozy for autumn, but I would eat a bowl of this any time of the year.
Looking for another delicious, creamy soup? Try my Japanese kabocha soup. Savoury, slightly sweet and nutty, this is another fantastic comfort meal for a cool day.Print
With its dreamy, silky broth and savoury/tart flavour combination, Greek lemon chicken soup (avgolemono) is a delicious bowl of comfort food.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium carrot, diced
1 small onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 cups (2.4 L) chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 cup (210 g) orzo, dry*
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup (118 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 large eggs
fresh chives, chopped
Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Sauté the chicken for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the pot and set aside.
Add another tbsp of oil and sauté chopped onion and carrot for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add chicken broth and bay leaves, and raise the temperature to high heat. Once the broth has come to a boil, stir in the chicken, orzo, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the orzo has cooked, about 10-12 minutes.*
Whisk lemon juice together with eggs in a medium bowl. While whisking, very slowly pour in two ladle-fulls of soup broth. The warmth from the broth will temper the eggs, creating a sauce. Pour this sauce into the soup pot and stir it in.
Immediately remove the pot from the heat and serve the soup garnished with fresh chives.
* White rice can be used instead of orzo for a more traditional style. If you use rice, the simmer time will be about 20 minutes or so, until the rice is tender.
Keywords: greek lemon chicken soup, avgolemono