LOCATION: Recipes >> Soups >> This is soupa avgholemono (av-gho-LE-mo-no). It is a very basic soup in
This is soupa avgholemono (av-gho-LE-mo-no). It is a very basic soup in
Greece, either made with chicken and rice, or just with chicken stock and
rice. Sometimes orzo (rice-shaped macaroni) is used. The avgolemono you
can make at home is far superior to any restaurant version; this is because
it is "fragile" - it doesn't keep will when you keep it hot for long periods,
and it curdles easily.
Restaurants usually just use the yolks and thicken the soup with corn
starch. It is a durable, but not nearly so nice, substitute.
There are lots of variations but this is the basic idea:
1 quart chicken stock
(you can buy canned if you don't want to do it from scratch)
4 whole eggs, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.
Juice of one large lemon
Rice - about 1/4 cup or orzo (small rice-shaped mararoni)
Bring broth to a boil. Add the rice, and cook till rice is soft and
starting to split.
Beat the eggs, and beat in the lemon juice.
Now comes the tricky part - but if you follow instructions to the letter,
you shouldn't have any problem. The trick is to achieve the fine
temperature margin between not cooking the eggs and cooking them too much
Take some of the boiling stock, say 1 cup or so, and slowly pour it into
the eggs, beating constantly. This warms up the eggs and thins them a
Now take the stock *off* the heat. Let sit a few seconds, till it stops
bubbling *completely.* If you don't wait, or if the stock is still
boiling, you will have a curdled mess. (But you can save it if it happens.)
Now, beating with a whisk, slowly pour the warmed egg-lemon mixture into
the stock. It will thicken up. It won't be pasty thick, but you will be
able to tell when it is thickened because before it thickens, a stir will
make the soup swirl and slowly come to a stop. When it has thickened, it
will swirl, then rather suddenly stop. It will also coat the spoon slightly.
Add finely chopped parsley, about a tablespoon, or to taste, and serve
with freshly ground pepper. You can also adjust the lemon if you want it
If the soup doesn't thicken, it means your eggs were too cold, so the
overall temperature didn't get hot enough. Turn the heat down and put
the pot back on, and slowly raise it, stirring and stopping often to see
if it thickens. Get it off as soon as you see signs of thickening. To
avoid going through this, I often put the eggs in hot water from the tap
for a half hour before I make the soup; this assures that they are warm
If the soup curdles, then you still had the soup too hot when
you added the eggs. Oops. You can strain the rice out of the soup, and
put the curdled liquid in a blender on high. It will come out fine and
you can hardly tell the difference.
You can also make it with the chicken meat; I boil the chicken (don't add
onions, it makes the avgholemono taste rather bizarre), and take the meat
off the bones (but my greek mom didn't). Make the soup as above, adding
the meat after it thickens. This makes a great meal in itself.
It takes a few times making this soup before you get it right every time,
but it's worth it! Enjoy.
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