Friday, February 26, 2010

Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon and Egg Soup)

I first had this soup when I was 20, at Steve's Greek restaurant in Boston's Back Bay area. Ordering it because it was cheap, and I was a poor student, I wasn't expecting much more than sustenance. What I got was a culinary epiphany-- soup that tasted like summer. The slight sourness of lemons, the richness of egg yolks and the savoury belly-warming flavour of chicken stock. It was the best soup I had ever tasted.
If you've never had this soup, and you like sauce Hollandaise, try this-- you will love it.

8 cups (about 2 litres) chicken stock
1/2 cup (1/2 teacup) long grain rice
1/4 cup lemon juice (juice os 2 lemons)
Zest of 1 lemon, finely minced
1 tablespoon (1 soup spoon) corn starch/corn flour
4 egg yolks
Handful of chopped, fresh parsley (optional)

1) Bring the chicken stock to a strong simmer and add in the rice. Cook according to package directions. Pssst- you will not be draining the rice.

2) While the rice is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, corn starch and egg yolks in a small bowl. Two minutes before the rice is done, snag a ladle of stock out of the pot and slowly whisk it into the bowl of lemon/egg yolk. Whisk continuously. Add in one more ladle, doing the same. Now remove the pot of stock/rice from heat and whisk the bowl of lemon/egg/stock into the chicken stock. Place back onto a low heat, just to heat up and thicken a bit but do not simmer from this point on, or the egg yolks in the soup could brake and end up looking sorta' like scrambled eggs. Stir in the parsley and serve at once.

Makes 8 cups yummy soup.

1 comment: said...

Tried this soup. Very tasty. Not sure when to add the parsely? Also added salt and pepper to taste after serving. Very light and lemmony. Refreshing. I have a friend that is always talking about this soup when he was in Greece. Can't wait to make this for him.