With the arrival of fall comes changing leaves, light jackets, pumpkins, and soup! Growing up, fall meant “Cream of Chicken Sundays.” Every Sunday, my family and I would go to our favorite Greek restaurant for their Avgolemono, or better known as Egg-Lemon Soup. To this day, it is still my favorite feature of fall and all-time favorite meal.
When I moved away from home for school and started experiencing soup withdrawal, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and create my own recipe. After lots of research and recipe testing, I finally nailed it!
I was surprised how simple and health-conscious this deceivingly creamy, citrusy bowl of comfort food really was. The “cream of chicken soup” I savored so much growing up did not even have cream! By slowly incorporating eggs into chicken stock, you’re able to produce a creamy, velvety texture.
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Yields: 3-4 servings
6 cups of chicken stock (homemade is best, so make your own with the help of Owner/Chef Shelley Young's video)
3/4 cup orzo
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup of shredded chicken (optional)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
Bring the chicken stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Once at a rolling boil, add the orzo and cook until tender (about 7-9 minutes). Turn down to low heat.
While the stock is boiling, whisk together the lemon juice and eggs in a large mixing bowl.
*Tip: When beating eggs, take the eggs out of the refrigerator ahead of time so they have time to get to room temperature. Room temperature eggs help make a more homogenous mixture!
Here's the tricky part - tempering the eggs. To temper the eggs, you’ll need to add hot liquid to the egg mixture to bring the mixture up to temperature slowly. If the egg and lemon mixture was poured right into the hot stock, the eggs could scramble instead of fully incorporating into the stock!
While whisking the egg and lemon mixture with one hand, slowly pour about a half cup to a cup of the hot stock into the bowl (I use a liquid measuring cup). The goal here is to slowly begin cooking the eggs before adding them into the rest of the hot soup mixture.
Next, slowly pour the warm egg mixture into the pot of soup in a similar manner.
Add the shredded chicken and season with black pepper and salt to taste.
Enjoy with a chunk of bread or toasted pita - yum!
Avgolemono is a filling, yet lean alternative soup to change up your weeknight menu - and only takes 30 minutes to make. Check out our Autumn Soups and Stews cooking class or The Perfect Pair: Soup and Bread Workshop here at The Chopping Block to continue adding to your fall recipe repertoire.