Avgolemono Soup (Greek chicken soup with lemon and egg)
Avgolemono soup is Greek chicken and rice soup with lemon and egg. Making avgolemono sauce super smooth and creamy is easy with these tips! This is a hearty, cozy soup that's great for a cold day or for when you're feeling under the weather. It's packed with protein and vitamin C
3/4cuplemon juicefrom about 4-5 lemons (more or less if you like - see notes)
salt and fresh cracked pepperto taste
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy pot with a lid (such as a Dutch oven). Add the diced celery and onions. Sauté over medium-high heat until softened (about 3 minutes).
Pour in 6 cups of the chicken broth (reserving the other 2 cups) as well as about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Add the rice (1 cup). Stir, cover, and simmer on low for 15 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked.
Add the cooked chicken meat (2 cups) to the pot. Stir, cover, and continue simmering on low for 3-5 minutes, until chicken is heated.
While chicken is heating, make the avgolemono sauce. Add the eggs (5) and lemon juice (3/4 cup) to your blender. Heat the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth in the microwave in a glass measuring cup until boiling (or on the stovetop in a small pot).
Turn the blender on the thoroughly mix the eggs and lemon juice. While the blender is running, very gradually pour in the 2 cups of hot chicken broth. Continue blending until all the broth is added. You will end up with a foamy, cream-colored sauce.
Turn off the heat on the soup. Slowly and gradually add the sauce back into the soup.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of (cold) butter to the pot. Stir until it's melted. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve with freshly cracked black pepper on top.
Reheating instructions: When reheating, be sure not to boil. Heat gently, to avoid the eggs curdling. I usually microwave in a bowl for 1 minute, stir, and microwave for 1 more minute.
Freezing the soup: This soup can be frozen for up to 6 months in an airtight container, BUT the texture will separate a bit and the eggs will curdle. It's still delicious, and better than tossing any leftovers you don't get to in time!
Vegetarian version: Cook the rice and vegetables in vegetable stock, and omit chicken meat. Add other vegetables to make it more hearty, such as mushrooms and spinach, and/or white beans or chickpeas instead of the chicken.
Dairy free version: use olive oil or ghee instead of butter.
Any rice can be used. I like using Basmati or another long grain white rice because it only takes 15 minutes to cook. The more traditional choice is converted/parboiled rice. Use any kind you like! I think it would be really good with wild rice for a nutty, interesting flavor.
I like a lot of lemon juice. I find most avgolemono recipes require only 1 lemon and a couple eggs and that just isn't enough. Sometimes I'll use a whole cup of lemon juice for this! The added butter cuts the acidity a lot. If you are sensitive to lemony flavor, feel free to take it down to 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup of juice.
The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.