{recipe} Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)

My friend Brian taught me this recipe. Well, actually, funny story. It’s more truthful to say that my friend Brian was making this recipe, and luckily I came for dinner early because he was about to royally screw it up. Although this recipe is really easy, you do have to separate the eggs and whip the whites, then yolks, to soft peak. He didn’t really get what that was all about so he was just planning to dump them all in there a little stirred up. Crisis averted, dusty hand mixer pulled from back of cabinet, teamwork prevailed!

This soup has a very interesting, almost mousse-like texture. It is really rich tasting, lemony, and frothy. A definite hit that’s one of my go-to recipes. The chicken flavor reeeeeally does it for me but you could go vegetarian with a mushroom or vegetable broth.

this amount will serve 6-8, depending on what else you’re going to serve with it.


  • 8 cups chicken broth (best quality you can find, or homemade ideally*)
  • 1 cup orzo  or rice
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • salt to taste
  • chopped mint or cilantro for garnish


  • Heat the broth until it boils, then add the orzo or rice and simmer until tender, about 20 min.
  • Meanwhile, whip the egg whites until they hold medium peaks.
  • While beating continuously add the yolks and then the lemon juice.
  • Temper the egg mixture by adding 2 cups of the hot chicken broth in a slow, constant stream while continuing to beat so that you do not curdle the eggs.
  • Add the tempered egg mixture back into the remaining broth and combine. Taste and add salt if needed.
  • Garnish with mint or cilantro.
  • You can make it ahead, but heat it up slowly over low heat so the eggs don’t cook too much.

* Here is a link to a recipe for homemade chicken stock. But don’t get me wrong. I never make chicken stock because I am LAZY. Occasionally I buy fancy stock from a fancy store but also I am CHEAP so that’s not my norm. For those of you who make stock, GOOD JOB. You are better than me and I bow to you. For those of you who are lazy and cheap, here is my secret to success: I like Pacific organic chicken stock (from Whole Foods, NOT reduced sodium, iww) with a couple of those semi-weird liquid concentrated chicken stock packet thingies (also from Whole Foods, or Trader Joes).

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2 Responses

  1. Lindsey says:

    Sounds interesting and definitely worth a try. What kind of rice would you suggest to use in place of orzo?