Greek Lemon and Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium carrot, diced
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • ½ stalk celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 (32 ounce) cartons chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 medium lemons, zested and juiced, divided
  • ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder, or more to taste
  • 3 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add carrot, onion, and celery. Cook, stirring continuously, until vegetables start to soften and turn translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.


  • Step 2

    Add chicken broth, parsley, and oregano. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Add chicken and orzo. Reduce heat to a simmer.

  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a heat-safe bowl or glass measuring cup. Add the lemon juice and whisk until well combined.

  • Step 4

    Slowly add a ladle of hot broth to the egg mixture, whisking quickly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Repeat with a few more ladles until the egg mixture is hot and steaming. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and whisk until incorporated.

  • Step 5

    Add 1/2 of the lemon zest to the soup; reserve remaining zest for another use. Taste soup; if too lemony, add chicken bouillon. Add hot pepper sauce, salt, and pepper. Cook until orzo is tender yet firm to the bite, about 5 more minutes. Serve immediately.

  • Cook's Notes:

    I prefer to use orzo but you can substitute rice if you please. Recipe is quite forgiving if you’re short on ingredients and can easily be halved.

    I prefer Knorr(R) chicken stock pot gels, but powder or cubes will work.

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