Thick, rich, creamy, flavorful and very comforting, this Greek lemon chicken soup (Kotosoupa avgolemono) is my favorite soup. It will warm your soul in a cold winter (or fall) day!
Greek lemon chicken soup is made from chicken, rice and the delicious egg-lemon sauce. You have to cook the chicken with some vegetables and spices until tender, then strain it. Then add rice to the broth and cook until the rice is cooked through.
Then you have to prepare the egg-lemon sauce which is a very simple thing to do but it can also be a little tricky. For the perfect egg-lemon sauce, you have to follow a few steps:
The main idea is that you have to gradually warm the eggs before adding them to the broth.
The eggs and the lemon juice must be at room temperature.
The broth should be hot but not boiling. So, remove it from heat when you start preparing the sauce.
Whisk the eggs with lemon juice then pour in hot broth, gradually, with a ladle. Pour broth until the egg-lemon mixture becomes hot. Then pour the egg-lemon-broth mixture into the soup.
In Romania we have our own version of Greek lemon chicken soup. The sauce is made with egg yolks and sour cream and the vegetables used for cooking the chicken are chopped and added to the soup.
Serve this delicious Greek lemon chicken soup while is still warm along with crusty bread. It’s absolutely delicious!
Ingredients for the Greek lemon chicken soup (Kotosoupa avgolemono)
– 1 chicken (1-1.2 kg/ 2.20 – 2.64 lbs)
– 150-200 gr (3/4-1 cup) short grain rice (like Arborio)
– 1.2-1.5 L water (5-6 cups)
– 1 onion
– 1-2 carrots
– a few black peppercorns
– 1 – 2 bay leaves
– 1 slice celery root (optional)
– salt to taste
For the egg-lemon sauce (Avgolemono)
– 2-3 eggs (depending on their size)
– juice from 1 lemon
– freshly ground pepper
– fresh parsley or dill
How to make the Greek lemon chicken soup (Kotosoupa avgolemono)
Start by cooking the chicken.
Rinse the chicken. I also prefer to discard the skin because it contains too much fat. Cut the chicken into pieces and place it into a deep pan. Add the onion, cut into quarters (but not completely), the carrot(s), whole or cut into halves, the celery root, the black peppercorns and the bay leaves. Season with salt, pour in the water (it should cover the chicken) and cover with a lid.
Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the chicken is very tender and can be removed very easy from the bones.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the foam formed on the surface.
Place the chicken into a strainer and allow to cool then remove the meat from the bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
Strain the broth. Pour the broth into a pot along with the rice. Place the pot over medium heat, add some pepper and cook until the rice is cooked through.
Remove from heat and right away you should start preparing the sauce.
How to make the egg-lemon sauce (avgolemono) for the Greek lemon chicken soup
Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk a little bit.
Pour in the lemon juice and whisk to combine.
Pour in one ladle of hot soup, gradually, and whisk in the same time.
Pour in the second ladle of hot soup, gradually, and whisk in the same time.
Pour in the 3rd ladle of soup and whisk.
Then pour the egg-lemon-soup mixture into the pot, cover with a lid and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.
Then pour the soup into bowls, top with shredded chicken and garnish with freshly ground pepper and fresh parsley.
Serve this delicious Greek lemon chicken soup while is still warm.