Avgolemono soup is a traditional Greek dish. This soup is traditionally cooked with rice or orzo, with or without chicken, but one thing is certain: each recipe includes a savory-rich broth as the basis.
You'll love this delicious Greek chicken soup recipe. Despite its unique and tricky technique, it only uses a handful of wholesome ingredients. This Avgolemono soup is enhanced with fragrant saffron threads that impart a distinct earthy taste and a lovely yellow-red color. Although these threads can be pricey, just a pinch is enough to go a long way.
Ingredients & Notes
Besides olive oil, salt, and pepper, you'll need these items.
- Mirepoix: The base of this dish starts with finely diced onion, celery, and carrot. It's going to give this soup a wonderful base full of flavor.
- Chicken: You'll need one pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I find that thighs add more flavor and are less "dry" compared to using chicken breast.
- Broth: Use chicken or vegetable broth.
- Eggs: I know you're surprised to see this ingredient in soup but trust the process. Eggs will be tempered in hot broth, giving the base of the soup a creamy consistency without adding any milk or cream.
- Rice: short grain, medium grain, or even, orzo will all work perfectly in this soup.
- Lemon: The lemon will be whisked into the eggs, right before the broth is tempered with it, giving the Avgolemono soup a lemony base.
- Saffron: My friend gifted me saffron when she came back home from Iran. I love and cherish every thread. I've seen saffron at Costco, that will work wonderfully.
Garnish with extra slices of lemon, threads of saffron, and fresh chopped parsley.
The Simple Way to Make Avgolemono Soup
1.) Sauté the Mirepoix.
First, place a pot over medium heat. drizzle in olive oil, add the celery, onion, and carrot mixture, season with salt and pepper, and stir-fry until the onions have softened.
2.) Create a rich broth.
Add the oregano, saffron, chicken thighs, and broth to the pot and cook until the chicken thighs are tender enough to shred with two forks.
3.) Remove the chicken and strain the broth.
After cooking, remove the chicken thighs and place aside and strain the broth. The broth should be clear and the celery, carrot, and onion discarded. Save one cup of the clear broth for later and return the rest to the pot over medium heat.
4.) Shred the chicken.
Shred the chicken thighs with two forks, then add them back to the pot.
5.) Cook the rice.
Add the rice and cook until the rice is cooked through for about 10 minutes.
6.) Add the eggs with the lemon juice.
While the rice is cooking, add the lemon juice to the eggs and whisk until fully combined.
7.) Temper the eggs.
Temper the eggs with the reserved hot broth, whisking continually as you pour it in.
8.) Add the tempered eggs to the pot.
After tempering the eggs, stir them into the soup and cook for 5 more minutes until it simmers
Frequently Asked Questions
Avgolemono soup is a traditional Greek dish made with a base of broth, eggs, lemon, and rice. It's creamy without any dairy and can contain shredded chicken.
This classic Greek soup tastes similar to chicken noodle soup in the United States, but it has a creamy consistency thanks to the eggs and a lemony foundation.
Store any leftovers in a container with a lid for up to 3 days.
Reheat any leftovers in a saucepan over medium heat until a light simmer is reached, stirring occasionally until heated.
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Avgolemono Soup with Saffron
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup diced carrot about 1 large carrot
- ½ cup diced celery about 1-2 stalks of celery
- 1 cup diced onion about 1 medium onion
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
- 10 cups low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 10 threads saffron or a small pinch
- ¾ cup medium grain rice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large lemon, juice of
- fresh chopped parsley and lemon wedges for garnish.
- Place a large pot over medium heat. Once heated, add the olive oil, carrot, celery, onion, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions have softened.
- Once the onions have softened, add the chicken thighs, broth, and saffron threads. Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the broth. Shred it with two forks and place them aside.
- Strain the broth. The broth should be clear and the celery, carrot, and onion discarded. Save 1 cup of the strained broth for later.
- Add the chicken back to the pot. Add the rice.
- While the rice cooks, whisk the eggs and lemon juice together. Temper the eggs by gradually adding 1 cup of reserved hot broth to the egg mixture while whisking continuously.
- Add the tempered eggs to the pot. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Serve with a garnish of fresh chopped parsley and wedges of lemon.