I usually spend Saturdays running errands and this past Saturday was no different. My husband and I decided that we would treat ourselves to a Greek lunch while out shopping so we headed over to one of our favorite Greek/diner restaurants called Grecian Gardens. There we both had a lunch of salad, fries and gyros. But I was surprised to see that Avgolemono (Greek chicken and rice soup with lemon) wasn't on the menu and I really was looking forward to a nice, warming bowl of soup to go with my gyro.
I can try to make it myself, I thought. How hard could it be? I had homemade broth that was cooked all day in the crock pot. I had left over chicken from the night before, and I had plenty of eggs and a whole bottle of lemon juice. All I needed was a recipe.
I did an internet search and came across a recipe on about.com and it was very simple.
This soup can be made quickly (if you have instant rice and the broth on hand) or it can take all day if you first cook the chicken to make the broth as in the original recipe. I'll give you the short version.
To make Greek Chicken and Rice Soup this is what you'll need:
12 cups of broth
1 cup of instant rice
3 large eggs (at room temperature)
1/2 cup lemon juice (or the juice of 2 large lemons)
cooked chicken (in the original recipe the chicken isn't added to the soup. They suggest serving it on the side.)
Pour the broth into a large stock pot. Heat to boil. Add the rice, turn off the heat and cook 5 minutes. Meanwhile take the cooked chicken and season with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Beat the whole eggs into a separate bowl and add the lemon juice. Whisk until frothy. Once the rice is cooked ladle out about a cup of the broth into a separate cup, then pour the broth very slowly into the egg/lemon juice mixture, whisking the entire time. This will temper the eggs so that they don't scramble when you add them to the soup.
Pour the broth/egg/lemon mixture into the soup pot, whisking. Stir in the cooked, seasoned chicken if using. Check the soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
Simple 5 ingredient Greek Chicken Rice Soup warm and filling. Serve it by itself or with a sandwich or Greek salad.
<TIP> If you make your own broth be sure to skim off any of the fat that might be on the top. You don't want greasy soup
<TIP> I used only a 1/4 cup of lemon juice and I think it could have used a little more. You might want to start with a 1/4 cup especially if your lemons are fresh.
<TIP> Be sure to be careful with the seasoning. My broth was homemade so it needed salt. Most canned broths are pretty salty, so taste before adding any more.
Makes about 6-8 main course servings and is ready in 15-20 minutes.