This delicious creamy Greek Lemon Chicken Soup is made with no cream at all. The creaminess comes from eggs which are tempered and added to the broth.
Lemons are a defining flavor in Greek cuisine. They’re squeezed over meat, fish and seafood, mixed with olive oil and oregano in Greek Salads and Dressings, combined with eggs for rich egg-lemon sauce or in Greek Lemon chicken Soup. There are endless Greek recipes where lemons play a central role. So when life gives you lemons….cook up some Greek food [sorry, I couldn’t resist :)]
Greek lemon chicken soup, also known as Avgolemono, is bright and warming. With the addition of a green salad, it makes a delicious satisfying dinner.
I love soup in the winter and this one is both hearty and light. I’ll explain. It has plenty of chicken and rice and a rich creamy texture, despite having no cream in it. The lightness comes from the lemon. I think lemon juice makes all foods taste lighter and brighter, like a sunny day on the beach on a Greek Island. Ok, I’m getting carried away – I clearly need a vacation!
Make Greek lemon chicken soup from scratch or use store bought broth and rotisserie chicken
Plain old chicken soup has lost a little of its glamour in my house because I’m always making it as soon as someone gets sick. Avgolemono is just a few eggs and 2 lemons away from Jewish penicillin, yet it has a whole different gestalt.
The egg-lemon mixture clouds, thickens and enriches the broth. The rice and chicken add body. Every spoonful is lemony and substantial.
Try making Greek lemon chicken soup from scratch as I do here or, if you’re in a rush, make it is by starting with your favorite store-bought chicken broth (I recommend Swanson’s low salt) and a rotisserie chicken.
How to temper eggs for Greek lemon chicken soup
The key to this recipe is properly tempering the eggs. Tempering is the technique for adding the eggs to the soup so they don’t curdle, so they create a creamy thickness rather than a broth with scrambled eggs floating in it.
Eggs cook quickly and easily when they come into contact with heat. They must be tempered before they are added to the hot soup pot. Tempering means bringing the temperature up…slowly.
By combining the eggs with lemon juice and whisking them first with just a small amount of hot broth to heat them, you can then whisk them into the hot soup pot and they won’t curdle.
Be sure to avoid boiling the soup when you reheat it, to prevent curdling.
Here’s the recipe for Greek Lemon Rice Soup with Chicken. If you try this recipe I hope you’ll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think!Print
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup with Rice: Avgolemono
Delicious creamy Greek lemon chicken soup with rice is made with no cream or dairy at all. The creaminess comes from tempered eggs added to the broth.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Yield: 4-5 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Greek
For The Chicken Broth (skip this section if you’re using store-bought chicken broth. You’ll need 8 cups of chicken broth for this recipe and 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken)
- 1 small chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds) cut into 8 parts
- 1 carrot, chunked
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 stalks celery, sliced into thirds
- 1/2 bunch parsley, washed
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 12 cups cold water
For the Greek Lemon Chicken Soup:
- 8 cups of homemade or store-bought chicken broth
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 1/2 or 2 lemons)
- 3 1/2 cups cooked white rice
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Make the Chicken Broth: (Skip this step if you’re using store-bought chicken broth) Put the chicken, carrot, onion, celery, parsley, and salt in a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Add 12 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Lower to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered. After 10 minutes, skim the white solids that rise to the top. (this will ensure a clearer broth) Simmer gently for an hour more. Remove the chicken from the pot. Take the meat off the bones. Shred or cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Pour the soup and vegetables through a strainer, reserving the broth. (The cooked vegetables will not be needed for this recipe). Using a large spoon, skim the fat that pools on top of the broth. If you have time to make a broth a day early, a night in the fridge makes it easy to remove the fat. The fat becomes a thin hard layer, sitting on top. Return 8 cups of chicken broth to the pot and heat to a simmer before continuing.
- Make The Greek Lemon Chicken Soup: Whisk the eggs and lemon juice in a small bowl until fully mixed. While whisking, slowly drizzle one cup of hot broth into the egg-lemon mixture. Then pour egg-lemon-soup mixture into the heated pot of broth while whisking to combine. Reheat gently but don’t allow the soup to boil or the eggs will curdle.
- Scoop 1/2 to 3/4 cup of hot rice into the bottom of each soup bowl. Add some shredded chicken. Pour in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of broth. Season, to taste, with salt and fresh ground pepper. Garnish with a lemon slice and some parsley, if you like. Enjoy!
Keywords: lemon chicken soup, Greek chicken soup, lemon rice soup, lemon chicken soup with rice