Avgolemono – Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

How to make Avgolemono – Greek Lemon Chicken Soup


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium carrot, diced

2-3 celery stalks, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 bay leaves

2 chicken breasts (about 12 oz / 350 g total)

6 cups (1.5 liter) chicken stock

¾ cup (175 g) orzo

Juice of 1 lemon

2 egg yolks

A handful fresh dill

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven and cook the onion, carrot and celery for 8-10 minutes over medium heat until softened.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the bay leaves, chicken and chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.

Take out the chicken breasts and bay leaves. Add the orzo to the pot and continue to cook for 10 minutes.

Shred the chicken with two forks and add it back to the pot.

While the orzo is cooking, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice in a bowl. Take out 1-2 ladles of soup and pour it over the egg-lemon mixture to temper it. Add this mix to the pot and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the fresh dill, adjust the seasoning and serve immediately, with some extra fresh dill on top if you like.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377 | Total Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0g | Unsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 154mg | Sodium: 679mg | Carbohydrates: 32g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Protein: 32g

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

Yes, you can use chicken thighs if you prefer.

Chicken thighs can add a slightly richer flavor to the soup, and they are less likely to become dry during cooking.

What can I substitute for orzo if I can’t find it?

If you can’t find orzo, you can substitute it with another small pasta shape like rice-shaped pasta or small shells.

Adjust the cooking time according to the pasta you choose.

How do I prevent the egg-lemon mixture from curdling when adding it to the soup?

To prevent the egg-lemon mixture from curdling, make sure to slowly temper it by adding small amounts of hot soup to the mixture while whisking continuously.

This gradually raises the temperature of the mixture, preventing curdling.

Can I make this soup in advance and reheat it?

Yes, you can make the soup in advance and reheat it gently over low heat.

Be careful not to bring it to a boil when reheating, as this can cause the egg-lemon mixture to curdle.

Can I freeze Avgolemono soup?

While it’s possible to freeze Avgolemono soup, the texture of the orzo and the egg-lemon mixture may change upon thawing and reheating.

It’s best enjoyed fresh, but if you decide to freeze it, cool the soup completely before freezing and thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.

What’s the purpose of tempering the egg-lemon mixture before adding it to the soup?

Tempering is done to gradually raise the temperature of the egg-lemon mixture without causing it to curdle.

Adding hot soup slowly while whisking prevents the eggs from scrambling when mixed with the hot liquid.

Can I use store-bought chicken broth instead of homemade chicken stock?

Yes, you can use store-bought chicken broth as a convenient alternative to homemade chicken stock.

Just be sure to choose a high-quality broth for the best flavor.

Can I make this soup vegetarian or vegan?

Yes, you can make a vegetarian or vegan version of Avgolemono soup by using vegetable broth instead of chicken stock and substituting plant-based alternatives for the chicken and eggs.

Tofu or seitan can be used as a meat substitute, and plant-based milk can replace the eggs for a vegan version.

Is there a substitute for dill if I don’t have it on hand?

If you don’t have dill, you can substitute it with fresh parsley or cilantro for a slightly different flavor profile.

Alternatively, you can omit the fresh herbs if necessary.

How can I adjust the thickness of the soup?

If you find the soup is too thick, you can add a bit more chicken stock or water to reach your desired consistency.

Conversely, if the soup is too thin, you can let it simmer for a bit longer to reduce and thicken.

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