Greek Avgolemono Soup with Lemon and Breadsticks

Description

Avgolemono is a traditional Greek soup known for its comforting, creamy texture and tangy lemon flavor. The name “Avgolemono” translates to “egg-lemon,” which are the two key ingredients that give this soup its distinctive character. Perfect for a cozy evening or a special gathering, Avgolemono is a versatile dish that can be served as a starter or a main course. Paired with a circle of fresh lemon for garnish and crunchy breadsticks, this recipe elevates a simple soup into a gourmet experience.

Ingredients

Chicken broth (homemade or store-bought)
4 cups
Uncooked white rice or orzo pasta
1/2 cup
Large eggs
3
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
1/3 cup
Cooked, shredded chicken (optional)
2 cups
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh dill or parsley for garnish
Ready-to-bake breadstick dough
1 package
Olive oil
2 tablespoons
Garlic powder
1 teaspoon
Dried oregano
1 teaspoon
Sea salt
1/2 teaspoon
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

1. Prepare the Soup Base:

  • In a large pot, bring the chicken broth to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the uncooked rice or orzo pasta to the broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer until the rice or pasta is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  • If using cooked chicken, add it to the pot during the last 5 minutes of cooking to warm it through.

2. Prepare the Egg-Lemon Mixture:

  • While the rice or pasta is cooking, separate the eggs, placing the yolks and whites in separate bowls.
  • Whisk the egg whites until frothy, then add the egg yolks and continue to whisk until fully combined and slightly thickened.
  • Slowly whisk in the freshly squeezed lemon juice to the egg mixture.

3. Temper the Egg-Lemon Mixture:

  • To prevent curdling, temper the egg-lemon mixture by slowly adding a ladleful of the hot broth to the mixture while continuously whisking.
  • Repeat this process with 2-3 more ladles of hot broth until the egg-lemon mixture is warm and well-combined.

4. Incorporate the Egg-Lemon Mixture:

  • Reduce the heat to low and slowly pour the tempered egg-lemon mixture back into the pot of soup, stirring continuously.
  • Allow the soup to heat through but do not let it boil, as this could cause the eggs to curdle. The soup will thicken slightly as it warms.
  • Season the soup with salt and black pepper to taste.

5. Prepare the Breadsticks:

  • Preheat your oven according to the package instructions for the breadstick dough.
  • Place the breadsticks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush the breadsticks with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, dried oregano, and sea salt.
  • Bake according to package instructions until golden brown and crispy.
  • Optional: Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top of the breadsticks immediately after baking.

Serving Options:

1. Garnish and Presentation:

  • Ladle the hot Avgolemono soup into bowls.
  • Garnish each bowl with a circle of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of chopped fresh dill or parsley for a burst of color and added flavor.

2. Accompaniments:

  • Serve the soup with a side of freshly baked breadsticks. Arrange the breadsticks in a basket or on a plate, drizzling with a bit more olive oil if desired.
  • For an extra touch, provide additional lemon wedges on the side for those who prefer a more intense lemon flavor.

3. Pairing Suggestions:

  • Avgolemono pairs wonderfully with a light Greek salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese, dressed with olive oil and oregano.
  • For a complete Greek-inspired meal, consider serving the soup alongside stuffed grape leaves (dolmades) or a platter of assorted Greek mezze.