Chicken Soup Avgolemono
Greek Style Egg & Lemon Chicken Soup
Avgolemono" in greek means "egg and lemon" and is the most popular technique for preparing soup in Greece. So much so, that unless stated otherwise, when one talks of soup, one means avgolemono soup. What follows is a recipe for my favourite, chicken soup, but feel free to substitute any kind of meat or fish broth for the chicken.
Serves four -hungry- people
chicken broth (You can get away with instant broth, but make sure it is of good quality. I usually use Knorr Chicken Bouillon cubes)
white rice (Unconverted -- not Uncle Ben's!!!)
2 eggs (large, or use 3 small or medium eggs)
salt (or more to taste)
- Bring the broth to a boil, and add the rice and salt. Let rice cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove pot from stove and let it cool for a while.
- Separate the whites from the egg-yolks, and beat the whites in a large bowl, until they thicken a little. Add the yolks and the juice of the lemon, and beat until you get a uniform mixture.
- Now carefully, using a ladle, pour some of the warm broth into the egg mixture, while beating continuously. When your bowl is full, pour the contents back into the remaining broth, and stir until you get a uniform mixture.
- Now serve and, I hope, enjoy!
The process of steps 3 and 4 is known in greek as "avgokomma", and describes both this process and what will happen if you are not very careful -- the egg will coagulate and spoil everything! In order to avoid such an unfortunate occurrence, you must let the broth cool a little before adding the egg. This can easily be done by starting to beat the eggs only after you have removed the broth from the stove, thus giving time to the broth to cool. However, if you're in a hurry, you can pour a small glass of cold water into the broth (which will obviously make the soup more diluted). The broth must be poured slowly into the egg and lemon mixture, but the two must be blended quickly (use of an electric mixer is recommended).
The original recipe does not require beating the whites separately, so you can simply beat the eggs whole until the whites blend with the yolks, and then add the lemon. If you prepare the eggs this way, the soup will be a little less smooth.
The soup can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two. Be careful not to bring it to a boil when re-heating it, because the egg will coagulate.
RATINGDifficulty: moderate (handling of eggwhites in soup takes experience).
Time: 30 minutes.
Precision: Approximate measurement OK.