In the Kitchen | Avgolemono { Lemon Chicken Soup}

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetIn the Queen City, we got a little sneak peek of lovely spring temperatures in the 70s a couple weeks ago, but it was only a tease:( The last couple weeks have been pretty chilly and I came across this soup and thought it would be the perfect remedy for these cold, dreary days.

Avgolemono: pronounced “av-gho-lé-mo-no”

WHAT.  I definitely had to Google the audio pronunciation because even that didn’t make sense to me. So here’s what I figured out: “ah-vo” = “egg”,  “lemon-o” = “lemon”.  The “g” is actually silent, like in “gyro” (“year-o”).

However you pronounce it, this soup is one I’m adding to my “must-haves” collection and I think you should too. This Greek version of chicken noodle soup is SO much more than that. It’s a also a traditional Greek sauce made with lemon, eggs and broth, and is commonly added to soups for thickening purposes, sauce for roasted veggies and to flavor meats, fish, etc. Super versatile and extremely comforting.

I scoured the internet and found a TON of variations for this recipe, but I landed in my own little kitchen testing a few different ones to find the best variation for me. This is generally how I cook throughout the week as well. I meal plan and find a few different recipes for each meal and then do some sort of combination for the final product. I like variety, I like knowing what works and doesn’t on the front end of cooking a meal so that I can give myself the grace & space to do my own variations.

This lemon egg soup proved to be fairly simple and easy in execution but with a few very specific and important details:

  1. Broth – Homemade chicken broth or store-bought low sodium chicken broth is the classic base for this soup, but feel free to use vegetable broth instead. I tried it with both and I couldn’t tell a huge difference. You could use vegetable broth and omit the chicken for a completely vegetarian version that can be just as delicious. Also, if you do use store-bought broth, I would also cut with water to thin it out a bit.
  2. Eggs – Adding the in egg yolks can be particularly uneasy task because you do NOT want them to scramble or cook to fast. The solution? You need to temper the eggs…meaning you want to slowly add in the hot broth to the eggs while whisking to slowly heat them through, creating the most enticingly smooth, creamy texture.
  3. Grains – Traditionally this soup is made with some sort of rice or orzo, however, I am a huge fan of this amazing Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend with Israeli couscous, red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans and red quinoa. <HIGH FIVE HANDS>. All that to say, whichever grain you choose, you will want to cook them separately and then add in at the end so they don’t get gummy.
  4. Chicken – Typically served with shredded or torn chicken pieces, I decided to give a little nod to my southern roots and top with spicy fried chicken pieces instead. This weekend I went the easy route and stopped by my neighborhood Bojangles to pick up some delicious fried chicken thighs. If you don’t know Bojangles, you need to get acquainted ASAP. The crispy crunch of the fried chicken skin and the extremely juicy chicken thigh meat added this unforgettable texture and flavor, making this “next level” good for sure! NOTE: For another quick shortcut, you could also use rotisserie chicken and just shred before you add to the soup.

And now for the recipe:

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Avgolemono {Greek Lemon Egg Soup}

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

4 cups      Broth (Chicken or Vegetable)
2 cups      Water
6                Egg Yolks, separated from whites
                  (save to scramble for breakfast later or to use in another recipe!)
2-3            Lemons, freshly squeezed (approx. 1/3 c. lemon juice)
2-3            Fried Chicken Thighs, shredded, keeping skins (or sub rotisserie chicken)
2 cups       Trader Joes Harvest Grains Blend (or grain of choice), cooked
1-2 tsp.     Tarragon, chopped
3-4            Lemon (round) Slices, 1/4in. thick
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Lemon Zest, to taste

DIRECTIONS
  1. Cook Trader Joes Harvest Grains Blend according to package. Remove from heat.
  2. In a medium to large saucepan, heat broth and water over medium-high heat.
  3. In a separate heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks, lemon juice and zest.
  4. Once the broth is heated, take 1 cup of broth and slowly add to the egg/lemon mixture, whisking simultaneously as you pour.
  5. Slowly stir the egg/broth mixture slowly into the remaining broth in the saucepan. Reduce heat to low for 5-10 minutes until heated through. *Be careful not to boil or overheat!*
  6. Add in grain blend, salt and pepper.
  7. Top with fried chicken skins & meat, lemon rounds, tarragon, lemon zest, salt & pepper.

If you’re in the QC this weekend, it looks like we have rain and 40-degree weather in our future for the next couple of days, so it’s a PERFECT time to try this soup for yourself. Let me know what you think.

Enjoy <3

 

 

3 thoughts on “In the Kitchen | Avgolemono { Lemon Chicken Soup}

  1. Genevieve Becker

    Just made this! It’s delish, thank you for the recipe! I subbed fried chicken for shredded baked chicken breast and used quinoa as my grain.

  2. Pingback: Hello Spring! Get a clue, Winter. – the freckled fork

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