Friday, May 28, 2010

Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Soup)

Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Soup)

We finished this soup today when we had it for lunch before taking off for the weekend.  It is such a satisfying, velvety soup.  Frothy eggs make it creamy.

This soup came about because I had some delicious leftover drippings from the Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Garlic I made a while back.  I could vaguely remember a Greek soup that started with an "A" that had lemon and rice/pasta in it, so I got out my soup books to do some research.  It turns out it is Avgolemono which means egg and lemon. 

I chose a simple version of the soup from the Mediterranean cookbook. 

Eggs are blended to create a smooth, creamy texture.  Orzo (rice-shaped pasta) is added for texture. 

from Mediterranean, page 109
Serves 4 - 6

7.5 cups flavorful chicken stock
1/2 cup orzo pasta
3 eggs
juice of 1 large lemon
salt and ground black pepper
lemon slices, to garnish

Pour the stock into a large pan and bring to a boil.  I added the gelatinous drippings from my chicken, after discarding the fat from the top.  There were bits of chicken and garlic, too, adding extra flavor.

Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes

Beat the eggs until frothy,

then add the lemon juice and a tablespoon of cold water.

Slowly stir in a ladleful of the hot chicken stock,  (I did this backwards but it turned out okay!)

then add one or two more.
Return this mixture to the pan, off the heat, stir well.
Season and serve immediately.

Don't let the soup boil again or the eggs will curdle. Today I used parsley for the garnish and it was a little overpowering. When I first made it, I used arugula. I prefer the peppery-ness of the arugula over the brightness of the parsley.  However, the books say that dill is the traditional garnish for avgolemono.  Use what you like. 

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