10 Feb Waste Not – Avgolemono Soup
Avgolemono soup might be hard to say but it’s incredibly simple to make. It’s so easy, you can make it when you’re sick and wobbly and barely able to stand without sneezing so hard you knock yourself over. I proved that the other day.
Being on the far side of a bad winter cold that kept me housebound, the fridge was not its normal over-stuffed self. Other than some questionable cheese and wilting celery, the only edibles were eggs, a bit of leftover rice and just enough cold roast chicken to leave you wishing you had more. Fortunately, this is just what you need for avgolemono soup — minus the questionable cheese and wilting celery. Well, that and lemons and chicken stock, which I consider pantry staples, even though they’re not kept in the pantry
The soup comes together in a matter of minutes requiring no more skill than the ability to crack a few eggs and zest a lemon. The biggest challenge — and I use that term loosely — is tempering the eggs. Rush things and you could end up with a curdled mess. But with a bit of patience, you can make those eggs produce a smooth, velvety soup that’s gently rich.
Grab a whisk. Set out the eggs. Shred those scrips and scraps of chicken, and pull the cold, clumpy rice from the back of the fridge. In the time it takes to heat a frozen, cardboard-crusted pizza, you can create a soup that will make you forget it’s winter and that your sinuses are on strike.
Got a soup that uses up the leftovers? Share your tips in the comments section.
- 4 cups chicken stock (homemade is best, use low-sodium commercial broth in a pinch)
- ¾ cup slivered cooked chicken (optional)
- ¾ cup cooked rice
- 2 large eggs, room temperature (3 if using commercial chicken broth)
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (don't use bottled)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, bring stock to a gentle boil. Add the rice and chicken. Heat until it just begins to boil again. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 5 minutes.
- In a medium, heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs with the lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth.
- Slowly, slowly, slowly pour a ladle of hot stock into the eggs, whisking as you pour.Slowly add a second ladle of hot stock. (This warms the eggs gently. If you add the hot stock too quickly the eggs will curdle.)
- Remove the pot of stock from the heat and slowly pour the warmed egg mixture into the soup, stirring well.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.