Avgolemono (Greek lemon and rice soup)
I know that the stores have changed the mannequins to bikinis and sundresses, but here in Michigan, it’s rainy and cold. I needed some soup today, but didn’t really feel like chopping and stirring and tasting and spicing all afternoon. I wanted something that would take the chill off and taste delicious. Oh, and I wanted to make it with ingredients I had in the house. Hence… avgolemono! There are many, many versions of this soup floating around. Some have chicken, some have carrots and other veggies, all have eggs, lemon juice, rice (or orzo) and chicken broth. One would think with only 4 ingredients it would be a fairly standard recipe, but even with the four standards there are a million variations. Some include whipping up the egg whites separately from the yolks and a whole variety of maneuvers I deemed too fussy for such a simple soup. I eventually settled on a recipe I found at Real Simple and adapted it in two ways. I omitted the chicken breast and also boiled the soup in spite of warnings that the soup would curdle if boiled. (I am simply too paranoid about salmonella to have uncooked eggs and if the eggs are tempered very carefully, the eggs do not curdle and the texture remains silky smooth. I promise.) I was very pleased with the way this soup turned out. Tart, comforting, delicious, and exactly like the restaurant versions I love. For a fuller meal, add cooked, shredded chicken after step 4.
Avgolemono (Greek lemon and rice soup) adapted from Real Simple
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup room temperature lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
3/4 cup white rice
2 large eggs
1. Mix rice and broth together in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer the rice for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender. When rice is tender, turn off the heat and re-cover.
2. In medium mixing bowl, beat eggs with lemon juice until frothy.
3. Add 1-2 cups of the hot mixture to the egg and lemon juice mixture one ladlefull at a time, whisking constantly.
4. Slowly return the hot egg mixture to the pan on the stove (again, whisking constantly to avoid curdling)
5. Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer.
6. Serve hot or cold