Avgolemono Chicken Soup

This is my kind of chicken soup to soothe the soul. It’s bright, cheerful and warming. I’ve never been much of a traditional chicken noodle soup fan and I really don’t know why. All I know is from the first time I tasted Avgolemono in a Greek restaurant, it became my idea of the perfect chicken soup! And it is the best get-me-something-to-eat-fast soup you will ever make! There is no other soup quite like it!

Avgolemono, or egg-lemon, is a sauce and a soup. As a sauce, it is used with warm dolmades which are grape leaves stuffed with rice and seasonings then rolled or over vegetables like artichokes. As a soup, a starch of some kind like rice, orzo, or tapioca are cooked in the broth before the mixture of eggs and lemon is added.

Dill is not a traditional ingredient in Avgolemono but I love the added flavor it gives the soup. Did you know, medicinally speaking, dill’s main purpose is for calming the digestive system. The essential oil found in dill assists in relieving intestinal spasms.

When it’s flu and cold season, chicken soup is just the ticket to warm you up and soothe your achy body. If you suffer from a cold, dill is a fantastic cure as it is often added to cold and flu remedies. So when you want to make a chicken soup that can really cure your ills, add some dill and soon you’ll be feeling great!

Avgolemono Chicken Soup 

Avgolemono IngredientsSimple ingredients, simple recipe but the flavor is so soothing. I can hardly wait! And the good news is I won’t have to because this soup comes together so fast!

Saute Onions

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onions are slightly browned.

Broth to boil

Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil.

Add Orzo

Stir in Orzo; reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Almost done with this super fast, super satisfying soup!

Shredded Chicken

Time to shred the meat of one chicken breast and one leg. Some like to use forks but if the chicken is not hot, then I use my hands to shred the meat. I like the look of shreds of chicken meat instead of cubed meat.

Whisk eggs and lemon

Combine lemon juice, salt, pepper, and egg yolks in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Simple, right? One would think so but sometimes when things are too easy my mind can wander off to other more complex things. That’s when I make a boo-boo. Not tragic like if you are not paying attention while using your knife but still, not the best plan. So while I am contemplating big life issues mixed with chatting it up with my husband, I crack both eggs, whites and yolks, into the bowl and whisk them into the lemon juice……. 

Temper eggs

Next I add a little broth (several ladles) to the egg mixture to temper the eggs so they don’t scramble when added to the hot soup. Tempering means bringing the temperature up…slowly. Still not realizing I have not separated the yolks from the whites. Lovely tempering. All is going nicely with the simple recipe. 

Add egg mixture to broth

Slowly I pour the egg mixture into the hot but NOT boiling broth mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Now I start to wonder why things look a little odd and I see these strings of white whisking through the broth. Good grief!! I snap back to soup reality! 

Egg whites

I now have a Chinese Egg Drop Soup version of my Greek Lemon Chicken Soup! Really?! So the next 10 minutes are spent fishing the egg whites out of the soup which have co-mingled with the orzo. Not a disaster but not the look I was going for. After the fishing is done, I have to laugh that something so simple turned into such a project. Such is life some days in the kitchen. 

Add chicken to broth

All is well in the pot of broth. The yolks have blended and thickened the soup and the whites have gone the way of the trash. No egg white omelettes tomorrow morning! Add chicken to broth mixture; cook until mixture thickens and Orzo is done (about 2-3 minutes).

Sprinkle in the dill

Stir in the dill and serve. Even after the momentary loss of focus, the soup is really yummy. The rich chicken broth flavored with a hint of tartness from the lemon and the wonderful aroma of the feathery dill leaves combines beautifully with the hearty chicken and orzo for the perfect meal in a bowl!

Ready for freezer

If you make a double batch, like I do, freezing the soup is a great way to have more soup for a day when you want Avgolemono immediately, not 25 minutes later. Or when your mind is on too many other things to cook! To reheat, just heat until warm enough to eat. Do not boil, ever. Remember the eggs!

The soup will separate when reheated even if it wasn’t frozen first so it needs to be stirred well before serving.

Reheat from frozen in the microwave or on the stove top. If you reheat on the stove top add a small amount water to the bottom of the pan, just enough to keep the rice and chicken from sticking or burning before the broth melts. 

Avgolemono Chicken Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
451 calories
22 g
256 g
13 g
62 g
3 g
598 g
1112 g
8 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
598g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 451
Calories from Fat 115
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 3g
17%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 256mg
85%
Sodium 1112mg
46%
Total Carbohydrates 22g
7%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 8g
Protein 62g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
17%
Calcium
6%
Iron
11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  2. 1/2 cup onion, small dice
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 1/2 cup Orzo
  5. 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  6. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  7. 2 cups rotisserie chicken meat, shredded
  8. 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Instructions
  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onions are slightly browned.
  2. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in Orzo; reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes.
  4. Combine lemon juice, salt, pepper, and egg yolks in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  5. Add a little broth to the egg mixture to temper the eggs so they don’t scramble when added to the hot soup. Slowly pour egg mixture into broth mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  6. Add chicken to broth mixture; cook until mixture thickens and Orzo is done (about 2-3 minutes).
  7. Stir in the dill and serve.
Notes
  1. To reheat, just heat until warm enough to eat. Do not boil, ever. Remember the eggs!
  2. The soup will separate when reheated even if it wasn't frozen first so it needs to be stirred well before serving.
  3. Reheat from frozen in the microwave or on the stove top. If you reheat on the stove top add a small amount water to the bottom of the pan, just enough to keep the rice and chicken from sticking or burning before the broth melts.
beta
calories
451
fat
13g
protein
62g
carbs
22g
more
Life of the Party Always! http://lifeofthepartyalways.com/
 

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  1. Michele, this was hands down the best instruction for cooking this soup. It was my first time and after looking through 5 pages of recipes on Google, I am glad I chose yours.

    The step-by-step pictures REALLY help (especially the tempering part) and I know they were probably a pain in the butt to post the entire process like that. Just want you to know your work was very much appreciated! 🙂

    God bless!

    -Justine

    • Justine ~ I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup and the step by step process. Yes, it can be quite a challenge to take pictures showing the process with my iPhone! If only I had 3 arms! You made my heart happy with your comments! The joy for me is sharing recipes I love and helping others create them with success! 🙂