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Greek Chicken Lemon Rice Soup or Avgolemono Recipe
Authentic Lemon Rice Soup
My husband and I traveled to Greece for our honeymoon. We both love Greek food, so while we were in Greece, I knew that I needed to get a cookbook so that I could learn how to make so many of the delicious dishes that we tasted while traveling. One of our favorites is Lemon Rice soup. In the Detroit there is a place called Greektown. It is filled with wonderful Greek cuisine and culture. You are sure to find an authentic bowl of Lemon Rice soup here. However, even throughout the suburbs of Detroit, it is common to find the soup on the menu of a coney island or family restaurant. But don't worry, you don't have to travel to Greece or Michigan to have a bowl of this tasty soup. It is very easy to make and highly requested by my friends and family.
How to Make Chicken Broth
In order to make this delicious soup, you need to have chicken broth. I imagine that you could use boxed chicken broth, however there is something about making the broth fresh that really adds to the flavor. Plus making chicken broth is quite easy to do. When I make this, I make a large pot of broth and then freeze the extra. It is the perfect base for this soup as well as chicken noodle soup.
1 whole roasting chicken, cleaned
1 onion quartered
3-4 peeled carrots or a handful of the already peeled, baby kind
salt and pepper (or Cavender Greek seasoning)
1 cup of uncooked rice
- Place the chicken in a large pot and cover completely with water. Bring the water to a boil and then skim any foam that may have risen to the top. Add the onion, carrots, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the chicken is done. This should take about 30 minutes.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot. Using a strainer, pour the chicken broth into a smaller cooking pot to make the soup. Set aside any extras and the carrots and onions.
- Freeze any leftover broth after it has cooled to use for a later time.
- Put the pot of strained broth back onto the stove and heat on medium high. Add the cup of rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 15-30 minutes or until rice is cooked.
Pictures for Making the Lemon SauceClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Make Lemon Sauce
3 Tbl. spoons of flour
2 cups of hot chicken broth
1 Tbl. spoon of vegeta (Vegeta is a seasoning that we use for soups in my house. It can be found in specialty stores that sell European products. I have also seen it at some produce specialty stores as well. It is not necessary for this soup but it does add a nice flavor.)
In a bowl, blend the juice from two lemons, two eggs and two tablespoons of flour. Mix it so that there are no lumps. Slowly temper the hot chicken broth liquid into the lemon and egg mixture. **See note below about tempering liquids.
Once the lemon mixture and broth are blended, remove the pot of soup from the hot burner and slowly pour the liquid into the soup pot. Add a tablespoon of Vegeta if you are using it. If not, taste to see if you need to add any more salt or pepper. You will also check on the thickness of the soup and taste for the lemon flavor here. I like my soup very thick so I tend to use all three tablespoons of flour. I also like mine very lemony so I add lots of lemon juice. You can add as much or as little as you like.
What does tempering liquids mean?
Tempering liquid is an easy but very important part of the cooking process. It simply means that you are bringing the liquid up to the same temperature as the rest of the dish. To temper the liquid, slowly add the hot liquid to the cold liquid (in this case with egg) while stirring constantly. If you do not do this, your dish will end up as scrambled eggs.
Adding Chicken and Carrots to the Soup
Although traditionally the soup does not add back the chicken, carrots, and onion pieces, I like the added texture that it gives the soup. I chop up the carrots and chicken into bite size pieces and add it to the soup. Then put the soup back on the stove just long enough to heat the chicken and carrots through. Serve with some bread or rolls and you will have a hearty lunch or dinner accompaniment.