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Waste Not – Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono Soup by TheMessyBaker.com

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

Avgolemono Soup by TheMessyBaker.com

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.

Avgolemono Soup by TheMessyBaker.com

Got a soup that uses up the leftovers? Share your tips in the comments section.

Avgolemono Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Greek
Prep / inactive time: 
Cook / active time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This classic Greek soup is dairy-free, yet velvety smooth. Loaded with lemon and dotted with chicken and rice, this is a perfect way to use up leftovers from last night's dinner.
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. In a medium, heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs with the lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth.
  3. 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.)
  4. Remove the pot of stock from the heat and slowly pour the warmed egg mixture into the soup, stirring well.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Notes
Why the extra egg with commercial broth? A good homemade chicken stock is gelatinous when chilled and produces a full-bodied soup. Commercial broth might have flavour, but is liquid and watery. I find avgolemono made with homemade stock needs only 2 eggs, but commercial stock needs a third.

 

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5 Responses to Waste Not – Avgolemono Soup

  1. A Canadian Foodie February 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    You know, I made this soup years ago, loved it – so why never again? Because my experience was that making it was an ordeal… that was when I wasn’t so experienced in the kitchen. Thanks for the confidence builder. I will definitely give this soup another go… and about waste – and not to be obnoxious – but after I bought my Thermomix machine, almost all of the soups I make anymore are made to use food I used to throw out – because I can now make soups so effortlessly…
    Not that making soup is hard, but it is so effortless for me, now – and I adore soups – so most definitely, and almost daily, I am cleaning out my fridge and either throwing the wobbly veggies in a soup or a stir fry – usually a soup. Aromatics, broth and veggies, seasonings and then I usually do a pureed soup. If I am really adventurous – and depending upon the salvageables in the fridge, I may toast some spices and add them to the mix.
    :)
    Love your waste theme.
    V
    A Canadian Foodie recently posted…Strawberry Fritters for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • Charmian Christie February 14, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

      Valerie, I just made another pot this afternoon, again using up leftovers. I swear to you, this one of the fastest, easiest soups I make. I first made it in university using bottled lemon juice. I changed that quickly and haven’t had an issue since. If you can whisk, you can make this soup!

      The Waste Not theme will resurface from time to time. I tossed dead vegetables last night (sniff). I don’t have a Thermomix, but that’s no excuse not to salvage vegetables. I just need to work on small batch soups!

      If you do make the avgolemono soup, I’d love to hear if you find it as easy as I do!

  2. Kim Bultman March 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    I saw your Avgolemono soup on Chef Dennis’ “Let’s Eat Healthy” event and HAD to get your recipe. Thank you so much! Wonderful writing and photos, too. :)
    Kim Bultman recently posted…In My Kitchen ~ March 2014My Profile

    • Charmian Christie March 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

      Thanks so much, Kim. I really appreciate your kind words and enthusiasm. I hope you like the recipe. I made it three times in a row when I had a horrid winer cold. I love how easy it is to make.

      Thanks also for letting me know where you found the recipe. Chef Dennis is a genius for creating that event!

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