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Homemade Greek Avgolemono: Lemon, Rice, and Chicken Soup Recipe

Keely grew up with this soup, which she and siblings simply called "lemon soup."

Avgolemono is a Greek lemon, rice, and chicken soup

Avgolemono is a Greek lemon, rice, and chicken 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—he 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). It is 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, 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, as 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 timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

30 min

35 min

Approximately 8 servings (1 cup per serving)

Ingredients for Avgolemono Soup - Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

Ingredients for Avgolemono Soup - Greek Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

Ingredients

  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup rice, uncooked
  • 2-3 large eggs (see note below)
  • 1-3 medium lemons (see note below)
  • Dash salt and white pepper (optional)

Notes About Quantities

  • Rice: 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.
  • Lemon and egg: Depending on how much you like lemony flavors, use the following guide below for quantities of lemon and eggs.

Lemon Flavor Guidelines

GoalEgg QuantityLemon 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!

Instructions

  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!

Comments

flourishingflavors on December 07, 2019:

this recipe looks so enticing and refreshing, I will definitely have to try it sometime.

Keely Deuschle (author) from Florida on January 10, 2013:

Thank you, Kasman! Enjoy!

Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on January 10, 2013:

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

Keely Deuschle (author) from Florida on January 08, 2013:

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

Stephanie Giguere from Worcester, MA on January 04, 2013:

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

Keely Deuschle (author) from Florida on December 30, 2012:

Thank you, Rajan! Happy New Year!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 30, 2012:

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

Keely Deuschle (author) from Florida on December 27, 2012:

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!

Keely Deuschle (author) from Florida on December 27, 2012:

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!

Keely Deuschle (author) from Florida on December 27, 2012:

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!

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on December 27, 2012:

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 on December 27, 2012:

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

Claudia Mitchell on December 27, 2012:

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

Keely Deuschle (author) from Florida on December 22, 2012:

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

minababe on December 22, 2012:

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

Keely Deuschle (author) from Florida on December 22, 2012:

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 from Greece on December 22, 2012:

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

Voted up