This simple soup is one of my go-to recipes. Mixing egg and lemon might seem a little strange but you will find that wonderful combination in more familiar foods like hollandaise sauce and mayonnaise. Avgolemono sauce is popular in Greek cooking and once you add this to your repertoire, you can use the sauce interchangeably with hollandaise. It's dairy-free and contains a lot less fat than it's buttery cousin. It's also a lot easier to make!
Avgolemono is a great base. Traditionally served with orzo and chicken, you can add diced vegetables, rice to make it gluten-free, potatoes, pasta - anything, really. This soup is excellent when you're under the weather as it is packed with vitamin C! You can also make avgolemono as rich or as light as you like by adjusting the umber of egg yolks.
When making soups, it's important to start with your own stock. I always make my own stock for this soup and freeze extra for later use. I cannot stress enough what a difference it makes in the final product! You can even freeze extra stock in ice cube trays with a chopped herbs to throw into sauces to make them richer. I also almost always char the onions that go into my stocks. This adds a richness and smokiness to them that goes well with most soups.
For the stock:
1 medium sized organic chicken
2 yellow onions, halved and charred over open flame
6 medium carrots, peeled and medium diced
5 stalks celery, medium diced
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs parsley
1 bulb garlic, halved
water to cover
For the soup:
juice of 4 lemons
8 egg yolks
1 cup rice
1 tbsp chopped parsley
In a large pot, add the stock ingredients, cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and allow the stock to simmer for several hours, skimming the scum off the top and adding water as needed. The longer you leave it, the tastier the stock. When your stock is golden, it's ready to use. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool. At this point, I usually reserve about 4 cups for later use and the remaining stock for the soup.
Strain stock, reserving only the chicken. Discard the vegetables. Shred the chicken and discard any bones. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice and egg yolks and whisk vigorously until smooth.
Over medium heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the rice and simmer until cooked through.
Now you want to temper your egg mixture. Using a ladle or measuring cup, slowly pour a bit of the hot stock into the egg mixture stirring continuously. Add about 3 cups. Add this mixture back to the stock in the pot. Add the chicken and stir.
Garnish with parsley.