RECIPES | If there’s a dish that seems to exist as a comforting winter warmer in all cultures, it’s chicken soup. One of my favourite chicken soups that I ate growing up, and love eating to this day, is the Greek Macedonian avgolemono soup.
Avgolemono is an egg-lemon sauce that’s used for its flavour and as a thickening agent in many recipes in the region. Avgolemono soup sees it added to a hearty chicken based broth with a medium grain rice like Arborio or Carnaroli.
The result is a wonderful, comforting soup, perfect not just during winter, but any time of the year. The texture is silky and luxurious, with the abundance of lemon providing a zesty vibrancy to each mouthful.
Here’s my recipe, based on the version that my grandmother used to make.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes / Cooking time: 3 hours / Serves: 4
- 500g (~4 large) chicken drumsticks
- 150g Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- ½ brown onion, peeled
- 1 lemon
- 2 large (~56g) eggs, room temperature
- salt, ground black pepper, Vegeta to taste
- Put your chicken, onion, salt, black pepper, and Vegeta into a deep pot. Fill with enough water so that the ingredients are covered by about 2cm.
- Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer to 2.5 hours. Check every now and then and skim any fat/gunk off the top.
- Remove the chicken, strain the broth, clean your pot, add the clarified broth back in (you should have about one litre of broth – top up with water if necessary), and bring the pot to the boil. Here’s where you can also have a taste and season further if required.
- While waiting for the pot to boil, separate the meat from the bones, skin, and other bits and pieces. The meat should slide off the bone with ease.
- When the pot is boiling, add your rice. It’ll take around 10 minutes to cook.
- Meanwhile, whisk the two eggs in a separate bowl, then whisk in the lemon juice. It’s important to ensure that the eggs are at room temperature to avoid them curdling.
- When the rice is almost done, add a ladle scoop of hot broth to the egg/lemon mixture.
- Whisk continually to ensure that the egg doesn’t curdle. Repeat.
- Add the mixture back into the pan, whisking continually.
- Remove from the heat, add the chicken, and serve.
Serve with some thick cut slices of crusty white loaf bread to mop up any leftover liquid in your bowl.
This soup will last up to four days in the fridge. You might notice that the liquid gets a bit “gluggy” when you take it out of the fridge. That’s all good, once you heat up the soup it’ll become liquid again.