Avgolemono Soup with Peas

Avgolemono Soup with Peas
Avgolemono Soup with Peas. Katie Workman / themom100.com
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6
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I have wanted to make this soup forever, and I have no idea what has been stopping me.  Avgolemono is the chicken soup of Greece, and as we know, pretty much every country has their version of comfort chicken soup – this is the Greek one.  In Greek, avgolemono means egg lemon (which if you’ve studied any romance language once you know, makes you say to yourself, “ah, that makes sense.”).

While cooking the raw chicken in the simmering broth adds extra richness to the soup, you can also think of this next time you have extra neutrally flavored cooked chicken on hand, maybe from a rotisserie or roasted chicken.  Just add about 6 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken along with the cooked rice.

When you gradually add the hot broth to the egg mixture, what are doing is tempering the eggs.  If you were to add the egg mixture to the pot all at once, even if you whisked very fast, you would still end up with cooked strands of eggs punctuating the soup (in some soups, this is desirable – think about egg drop soup at a Chinese restaurant).  Adding the hot liquid in a slow steady stream to the eggs, while whisking all the while, thickens the eggs but keeps them from scrambling.  Once that mixture has become thick and smooth, and warm, you can whisk it back into the soup and it will simply thicken the whole pot of avgolemono soup.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 ½ cups cooked rice
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ¾ cup frozen peas, defrosted

How to Make It

  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until slightly golden.  Add the broth, and turn the heat to high.  Bring the broth to a simmer.
  2. Lower the heat to medium, and keeping the broth at a simmer, add the diced chicken breasts.  Cook for 5 minutes until the chicken is mostly cooked through.  Add the cooked orzo.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, and then beat in the lemon juice.  Working quickly, whisk the egg mixture while you drizzle in a ladleful of the hot broth from the pot.  Drizzle in another ladleful, whisking all the while, then transfer the hot egg-lemon mixture back to the pot, whisking as you add it.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  1. Stir in the parsley and peas and return to a simmer.  Serve hot.