greek egg, lemon, chicken & rice soup (avgolémono)

Ok, so I’m not going to say this is actually a greek recipe, since I’m not greek and this soup is just my version of this recipe from Tasty Kitchen…  but I will say that it’s refreshing, different and good!

I love the somewhat unexpected combination of flavors and textures…  so creamy and rich, yet at the same time fresh and bright from the lemon juice and basil.

Try this out next time you’re looking for something different…  You won’t be disappointed!

Greek Egg, Lemon, Chicken & Rice Soup Recipe (Avgolémono)

8 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 chunk parmesan rind**
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter, divided (1/4 cup + 1/4 cup)
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked chicken
1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2-3 tablespoons fresh (or freeze-dried) chopped basil

In a large stockpot, bring the stock, lemon juice & pepper to a boil;  reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan sauté the onions in 1/4 cup of the butter over medium heat until translucent;  Dump into the simmering stockpot.

In the same saucepan, melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and slowly whisk in the flour, stirring and cooking for 10 minutes or so… until toasty-smelling, smooth and light golden brown.  (That would be making a roux!).  Stir the roux slowly into the simmering stock, whisking constantly, and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes until the soup has started to thicken.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until light and fluffy.  Whisk in the cream until combined.  Take about 2 cups of the hot soup out of the pot and very slowly whisk it into the bowl with the eggs and cream in it, bringing the egg mixture up to the temperature of the soup.  (That would be tempering!)  Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the soup pot, stirring well to combine.

Remove the parmesan rind and discard.  Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes and basil and taste to see if more salt & pepper are needed.

Serve with lots of fresh bread & butter and enjoy!

**If you don’t save the rinds from your parmesan cheese, please start doing so!  Just keep a ziploc bag in the freezer and toss them in whenever you are finished with a hunk of parmesan.  They add such an amazing layer of depth (some may call it “umami”) to soups…  Trust me on this one!!

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