Avgolemeno ~ Greek style Chicken & Lemon soup
Everyone should have in their arsenal a low maintenance, throw together type of soup that you can make in your flannels while chugging away on your laptop.
This is ‘the one’ for me. It's insanely delicious & needs nothing more than a whole chicken (defrosted), onion, salt, pepper, eggs & lemons. Chuck the chicken in a pot with copious amounts of water, cook the orzo in the broth and finish with lemon and eggs.
I love that getting the pot on the stove gives me straight 1 hour – 15 minutes before I even have to mess with it. That means I get to do some serious paperwork in that time or watch 2 episodes of Grace & Frankie on Netflix. Either way, a win all around!
On most days we have these staples handy or in my case a teenager who often runs across to the store so I can make the soup at the 11th hour and don’t have time to defrost said chicken.
If you’re thinking about how just exactly a handful of ingredients can render a soup so yummy, you’ll just have to take my word for it. It’s on my weekly rotation especially when cool weather descends and reminds me of the scotch broth soup my favorite Parsi restaurant would serve growing up. The only deviation being adding delicious cubed fried croutons & using barley instead of orzo.
Perhaps that’s why I crave this soup so much – it takes me back to my childhood, of memories with my parents rambling along the street on a Sunday in their Jonquil colored Fiat. If you don’t know what Jonquil is, look it up – it’s that shade of yellow, that’s right between a lemon & a banana just like the fragrant flowers whose name it takes after.
Who said you only get to read about food here?!
Avgolemeno ~ Greek Style Chicken and lemon soup
By Devaki Das
1 whole chicken
16-18 cups water
1 tbs salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 yellow onion,
Juice of 2 small lemons
2 large eggs
¾-1 cup orzo
Onion: Peel, discard skin and quarter.
In a large stock pot, add the chicken, water, salt, onion & pepper. Bring to boil. Lower the heat to lowest setting and fit with a lid, leaving a slight gap to allow steam to escape.
Cook for 1 hour & 15 minutes until the chicken is falling off the bone. Remove the chicken and set aside on a pan to cool for about 15 minutes.
Sieve the soup, discarding any residue and return the stock to the same pot.
Bring the stock to a heavy simmer and add the orzo. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until cooked.
Carefully strip all the meat, discarding skin, bones and cartilage.
Return the chicken to the soup.
In a bowl, beat 2 eggs with a fork in a Pyrex bowl until thoroughly homogenous.
Lemon: Roll the lemon on the countertop with palms to loosen juices. Juice the lemons & add to the eggs. Whisk to combine.
Temper the eggs by adding ½ cup of the chicken stock into the eggs and whisking rapidly.
Repeat with another ½ cup chicken stock.
Now add all the egg mixture into the soup and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.