Avgolemono Soup: Homemade Greek Lemon Rice Chicken Soup Recipe

Updated on September 27, 2017
Avgolemono Soup - Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup
Avgolemono Soup - Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup | Source
4.1 stars from 10 ratings of Avgolemono Soup

My grandfather was born in Crete, Greece, in the late 1800s and came to the U.S. as a teenager in the early 1900s. While other immigrants came to Pennsylvania during that time period to work in the coal mines, he never worked in them - my grandfather found his own American dream by owning several restaurants during his lifetime.

Having a Greek grandfather and a grandmother that was born to Polish immigrants, we had quite a variety of unique recipes served when we visited them. Some of them my brothers and I especially liked, like this soup which we grew up calling lemon soup, but is correctly called avgolemono (or αυγολέμονο in Greek) - a traditional Greek "soupa" often served by mothers and Yia Yias (grandmothers).

This delicious, low-calorie, unique, and authentic Greek chicken soup can be served as an appetizer, or as a bowl or two as a main meal or as a side to a sandwich.

There are many different variations of this recipe, but my grandfather's version was very simple - only 4 ingredients.

Whether you like it tart, like I do, or with a more mild lemon flavor, you can tweak this recipe to your own liking with the suggestions shared below.

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: Approximately 8 one cup servings
Ingredients for Avgolemono Soup - Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup
Ingredients for Avgolemono Soup - Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup | Source


  • 8 cups Chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup Rice, uncooked
  • 2-3 Eggs, large (see note below)
  • 1-3 Lemons, medium (see note below)
  • Dash Salt and white pepper, (optional)

A Note About the Quantities

The 1/2 cup of rice is a guideline. Personally, I like to use closer to 3/4 cup to be a bit more filling. The starches in the rice, however, will thicken the soup quite a bit if you refrigerate extras for another meal.

Depending on how much you like lemony tastes, use the following guide below for quantities of lemon and eggs.

Egg Quantity
Lemon Quantity
Mild Lemony Taste
2 eggs
1 lemon
Slightly Tart Lemony Taste
3 eggs
2 lemons
Very Lemony Taste
3 eggs
3 lemons

Why You Need to Temper the Eggs

If you take slightly beaten eggs and add it to heat, what do you get? You get scrambled eggs! Since we don't want bits of cooked egg in our soup, we temper the eggs by gradually adding a little of the hot broth at a time and incorporate it into the egg mixture, thereby raising the temperature of the eggs and cooking them in a more smooth mixture. The result in this recipe is a creamy lemony froth that makes the soup what it is!

  1. Pour the broth into a large saucepan. Add in rice. Heat over medium heat until rice is cooked (about 30 minutes). When the rice is cooked, lower the heat to low.
  2. While the rice is cooking, roll the lemons under the palm of your hand while gently pressing downward. This will help make the lemons easier to juice.
  3. Slice the lemons in half. Using a citrus juicer, juice the lemons.
  4. After the rice has cooked and the temperature reduced to low, crack and add the eggs to the blender. Pour in the lemon juice in the blender, too. Blend until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Before adding the lemon and egg mixture to the soup, the egg mixture must be tempered. Using a ladle, get a ladle full of broth (no rice) and add to the egg-lemon mixture. Place the lid on it and blend for about 5 seconds. Add a second ladle of broth and add to the egg-lemon mixture and blend for 5 more seconds. Continue repeating this for a total of 5-6 times. The mixture in the blender will be frothy.
  6. Now that the mixture is tempered, slowly pour into the pot of soup, gently stirring. The soup will have a frothy layer on the top. Spoon into a bowl and enjoy!


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    • KDeus profile image

      Keely Deuschle 5 years ago from Florida

      Thank you, Kasman! Enjoy!

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 5 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      This is intriguing. I like lemons so its already on my good list. Very interesting and unique recipe. Voting up and useful.

    • KDeus profile image

      Keely Deuschle 5 years ago from Florida

      sgigurer, I think you'd be very happy with this to give it a try!

    • sgiguere profile image

      Stephanie Giguere 5 years ago from Marlborough MA

      Sounds really yummy! This may motivate me to cook for once...

    • KDeus profile image

      Keely Deuschle 5 years ago from Florida

      Thank you, Rajan! Happy New Year!

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This recipe sounds delicious and the picture is very appealing. Thanks for sharing. Voted up & interesting.

    • KDeus profile image

      Keely Deuschle 5 years ago from Florida

      Sharkye11, your chicken noodle lemon soup sounds good, too! Not weird at all! The combination is so yummy! You'll have to try this and let me know what you think!

    • KDeus profile image

      Keely Deuschle 5 years ago from Florida

      RTalloni, I hope you do try it! It might become a favorite of yours, too! I honestly would have never thought that 4 ingredients mixed together could taste so yummy!

    • KDeus profile image

      Keely Deuschle 5 years ago from Florida

      Glimmer Twin Fan - I must admit, I think it "is" out of this world! I had some at a Greek restaurant not too long ago, and I think this one tasted so much better (and lemony-er)! I hope you enjoy it!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      This sounds delicious! I love the taste of lemon/pepper chicken, so for years I have made chicken noodle soup with lemon juice in it. I thought I was just weird. This sounds much better than the stuff I just throw together though; creamy and filling! Thanks for sharing!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Oh me, this looks wonderful! I'm looking forward to trying it out. Thanks for sharing your grandfather's recipe with us!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      This looks out of this world. I love lemon and this is so interesting. Pinned and shared. Great recipe!

    • KDeus profile image

      Keely Deuschle 5 years ago from Florida

      minababe, it is delicious! And so easy to make! If you try it, let me know if you liked it!

    • profile image

      minababe 5 years ago

      This looks very delicious; my mouth was watering just looking at the pictures, lol!

    • KDeus profile image

      Keely Deuschle 5 years ago from Florida

      Thank you so very much, drosostalitsa! One day I am planning to come to Greece to learn more about my Greek heritage! In the meantime, I travel there through my grandfather's recipes!

    • drosostalitsa profile image

      drosostalitsa 5 years ago from Greece

      Goodmorning! Thank you so much for this hub! I am Greek and now I feel very proud of my country!

      Voted up