This delicious Greek lemon chicken soup recipe is my interpretation of a traditional Avgolemono. The lemon juice gives this creamy chicken soup an interesting flavor, making it more comforting. The best part? It only takes 30 minutes to prepare.
This comforting soup is one of my all time favorite things to eat. If you're looking to impress your guests, you can never go wrong with an easy delicious bowl of Greek lemon chicken soup, aka avgolemono
⭐ Avgolemono Soup Recipe
If you've ever been to a Greek, Arab or Turkish restaurant, you must have come across avgolemono soup on the menu. It's among the most famous Greek soup recipes and has been around for hundreds of years.
As cliché as this might sound, I fell in love with this soup the first time I tasted it. The creamy, lemony flavor hits all the right spots.
I remember how cold that evening was and how warm and cozy I felt afterward. So I made it my mission to learn how to make this hearty and comforting Greek soup.
I did some serious digging, tried the recipe several times, and my soup was terrific each time. I'm not even exaggerating. What's more, it's easy and requires so little effort.
This avgolemono soup is magical. You'll love it, I promise.
🍽 What you need
As mentioned above, this traditional Greek lemon chicken soup recipe is easy to make. It's lemon juice and whisked eggs yolks combined with rice, chicken pieces, and broth. The result is a deliciously thick and creamy soup you can enjoy on a freezing or cold winter night.
You can substitute orzo pasta instead of rice. If you're new to cooking, orzo is pasta that resembles rice. It looks like a mammoth of rice grain. Any taste difference?
I prefer rice over orzo pasta to make this recipe because the latter can create a sticky, gummy mess. But feel free to use orzo if you don't mind its gumminess.
Some egg-lemon Greek recipes use chicken stock instead of broth. Honestly, it's all about preference. I usually make tons of broth to use when my soup cravings come calling. So go with what you like!
- olive oil - 3 tbsp
- carrots - 3 large, peeled and diced
- celery - 2 stalks, thinly sliced
- onion - 1 large, finely chopped
- salt and pepper - to taste
- rice - 1 cup
- chicken broth - 12 cups
- chicken breasts - 2, cooked and shredded
- butter - 4 tbsp
- flour - 4 tbsp
- eggs - 4
- fresh lemon juice - ½ cup
While the combination is perfect, freshly squeezed lemon juice creates a whole new experience. It completely transforms this chicken soup into something special.
The essence of flour and butter is to thicken the avgolemono sauce. You could experiment and leave this out if desired.
To get this recipe done, you'll need a few tools for prep and cooking. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of using the proper kitchen utensils. The tools make cooking easier, safer, and more fun!
Here's what you'll need:
- Pairing knife
- Cutting board
- Dutch oven/stockpot
- Large and medium bowls
🔪 How to make
- First things first, gather and prepare all the ingredients.
1. In a Dutch oven or stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, then add carrots, celery stalks, and onions. Season the veggies with salt and black pepper, then cook for about 3 minutes.
2. Increase heat to medium-high, stir in the rice and cook for a minute or two, generously salt and pepper.
3.Stir in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or cook until the rice and carrots are cooked.
4. Now add your shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken because it simply makes the best chicken soup).
5. In a saucepan, melt butter, then add flour. Whisk until you get a smooth consistency. This shouldn't take more than a minute.
6. Add about 4 cups of the broth mixture. Stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. This should take roughly 10 minutes.
7. Slowly beat the lemon juice and the thickened broth into the soup
8 In a small bowl, beat the eggs until they are foamy, then very slowly add the egg mixture, vigorously stirring constantly so the eggs do not 'split'.
Season with salt and pepper to get the maximum flavor from your soup. You can add cheese, fresh herbs like dill, parsley, oregano, or rosemary if you want to get fancy.
Serve and enjoy every scoop!
💭 Top tips
When trying new recipes, sometimes things don't go as expected. The soup might turn out too salty, spicy, or sour. Overseasoning and over-saltiness are usually the main culprits.
If you didn't know, the secret to making the best-ever chicken soup is care and consideration. That's it! Nothing complicated!
While this avgolemono soup recipe is simple, things can also turn ugly if you don't put your heart into it. These are the most common mistakes people make when cooking this Greek chicken lemon soup:
- Using high-sodium chicken broth - If you opt for store-bought chicken broth, always check the sodium content label. Your product should not have more than 140 mg of sodium per serving. On the label, look for words like 'low-sodium,' 'sodium-free,' and 'salt-free.' These versions of broths are not only healthy but also fat-free and allow you to adjust the seasoning. PRO TIP: Always double-check the sodium content for broths labeled as unsalted or reduced-sodium. Some might still have high sodium levels. If this sounds like a hassle to you, make your broth. It's not as laborious as some people portray. It only takes a few minutes of preparation and simmering.
- Overcooking rice or pasta - The idea of adding rice to lemon chicken soup avgolemono or any other soup for that matter is to make it thicker and heartier. So if you overcook it, it'll be become mushy and bring zero texture to the soup. To avoid this, cook for 15 minutes, then try a grain. If it's not ready, cook for another 3-5 minutes. However, if you're using brown rice, it'll take a bit longer to cook- let's say 30-35 minutes.
- Forgetting to temper the egg lemon mixture - egg and lemon juice might be a weird combo, but it's the secret ingredient that thickens and enriches the soup. So to get that smooth and silky end product, you need to temper the egg mixture. I'm pretty sure you don't want to end up with scrambled eggs floating in the broth.
TIP: Incorporate Mise en place. A French culinary concept that means putting everything in place before you start to cook. This technique will save you a lot of time while helping you stay organized. It comes in handy if you're trying this recipe for the first time.
The best way to preserve your greek lemon chicken soup is to refrigerate or freeze. But before you do all that, ensure the soup cools to room temperature.
If you made a large batch, you need to find ways to cool it down because you only have a 2-hour window before it spoils. You can try an ice bath.
Use covered airtight containers. You can either divide it into small portions or refrigerate the whole batch. The latter makes sense if you have enthusiasts in the house. If stored properly, it can last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Likewise, use air-sealed containers. You can also use freezer bags, but make sure you remove as much air as you can before sealing. Your avgolemono soup will stay good and tasty for 4-6 months.
When you're ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This is the best method because it can last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. If you defrost in the microwave or run under cold water, you have to consume it immediately.
🥗 What to serve with
Greek lemon chicken soup is not only delicious on its own but a complete dinner by itself. It's packed with protein, carbs and vitamin A. But there are a few side dish that can perfectly complement this broth;
- Garlic bread - You can never wrong with this hearty side dish, and the garlicky flavor pairs well with this Greek soup recipe.
- Green salad -This healthy side dish will make you feel so good about your life decisions. It's simple, colorful and goes with just about anything.
- Cornbread - What's better than a cheddar cheese-infused cornbread? The combination will take your taste buds to another level.
- Homemade biscuits - How about some color and sweetness to complement your meal? Healthy Homemade biscuits provide a nice flavor change, bringing a delightful experience with every bite.
👪 Serving size
This recipe makes 6 servings and takes 30 minutes to prepare. As with most soups, this is easy to double to serve 12 or more. This Greek lemon chicken soup is a meal in itself and great for lunch. Or serve it as an appetizer or side dish alongside dinner.
SIMPLE. QUICK. CREAMY. DELICIOUS. This is what Greek lemon chicken soup is all about. It's hearty, comforting, and loaded with flavor, making it the perfect chicken soup to warm your belly and soul when the temperature outside is below freezing.
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 large carrots - peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery - thinly sliced
- 1 large onion - finely chopped
- salt and pepper - to taste
- 1 cup rice
- 12 cups chicken broth
- 2 chicken breasts - cooked and shredded
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup lemon juice - fresh
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the carrots, celery and onion and cook until soft, about 3 - 5 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium high, then stir in the rice and cook for a minute or two, generously salt and pepper.
- Stir in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice and carrots are cooked.
- Stir in the chicken and remove from heat.
- In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour, until smooth.
- Gradually add about 4 cups of the broth mixture, and cook (stirring constantly) until slightly thickened, then remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs until they are foamy.
- Slowly beat the lemon juice and the thickened broth into the soup, then very slowly add the egg mixture, vigorously stirring constantly so the eggs do not 'split'.
- Heat the soup over medium heat until it thickens a bit, but do not return to a boil.