Greek Egg Lemon Soup (Avgolemono)
1 Large Yellow Onion, cut into ¼” dice
2 Large Carrots, Cleaned and cut into ¼” dice
2 Large Celery Stocks, Washed and cut into ¼” dice
3 – 32 oz. Boxes of Chicken Stock
1 Tbsp. Salt; divided + More to taste
1 ½ tsp. White Pepper
1 Bay Leaf
2/3 Cup White Rice or Orzo Pasta
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube, crushed
3 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2/3 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (number of lemons will depend on the size)
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1/3 Cup Fresh Dill, finely chopped
PREPARE THE BROTH
In a large soup pot or dutch oven melt the Butter over medium heat. Next add the Onions, Carrots and Celery to the pot, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Salt, stir together and then cover the pot, gently sweating the veggies until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Uncover the pot, pour in all three boxes of Chicken Stock, the remaining Salt, White Pepper and the Bay Leaf. Bring to a boil and then stir in the Rice. Adjust the heat so that the broth comes to a gentle simmer, cover the pot and leave to simmer until the Rice is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Once Rice is cooked through, leave pot covered on the stove over low heat.
PREPARE THE CHICKEN – DO THIS IN A SECOND POT WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY MAKING THE BROTH AND VEGGIES
Place Chicken Breasts in the bottom of a medium sized pot. Fill the pot with water, covering the Chicken by about 2 inches and then stir in the crushed Bouillon Cube. Next, bring the water to a boil, once a boil is reached turn the heat down to a low simmer, cooking the Chicken for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the heat off, cover the pot, and poach the Chicken for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove the Chicken from the liquid and set aside to cool Once cool, shred it into bite sized pieces or dice it into small cubes. Set aside.
PREPARE THE EGG LEMON MIXTURE
In a medium sized heat resistant bowl add Eggs, Lemon Juice and Cornstarch. Next whisk them together. This can be done by hand, with a mixer or an immersion blender. The idea is to get the Eggs nice and frothy and to fully combine them with the Lemon and Cornstarch. If doing this by hand you can expect it to take 3 – 4 minutes of vigorous whisking, if using a mixer or immersion blender it won’t take more than a minute at most.
Next, slowly add 1 cup of the prepared hot chicken broth to the Egg mixture, gently whisking while you add the hot liquid to the Eggs. This gentle cooking of the eggs is called tempering. Repeat this process with one more cup of hot broth, the results will be a creamy egg and lemon mixture.
PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
First, stir the Chicken into the hot soup. Next, slowly pour the Egg Lemon Mixture into the soup, constantly stirring as you pour. Last, stir in the fresh Dill and then gently turn the heat up on the stove so that the pot returns to a simmer, heating all the ingredients up together. At this point taste the soup and add more Salt and White Pepper if you wish. You are now ready to serve! I like to offer extra lemon wedges on the side, just in case someone needs an extra spritz in their soup!
This soup lasts in the fridge for about 4 days. Although, when you are reheating it, be careful to do so over medium-low heat. Heating it too fast will cause the egg and broth to separate.