Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice Soup)

My favorite food of all time is soup – tomato soup, chicken soup, vegetable soup – you name it. Comforting, versatile, easy to make (one pot dishes ftw!) – what’s not to love?

A few years ago, I discovered a restaurant in Vienna, Virginia called Plaka Grill – they have, hands down, the best gyros I’ve ever had. AND it’s where I discovered Avgolemono! Avgolemono is a Greek lemony soup with chicken and rice, made creamy with the addition of eggs and fragrant with fresh dill.

After my first taste, I became determined to learn how to make the best Avgolemono. Today I’m sharing my favorite recipe that I’ve come up with after years of experimenting with different recipes.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, uncooked (I prefer bone in, but boneless is fine)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1-2 lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnishing
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice (or orzo or pasta of choice)
  • (Optional) crushed red pepper
  • (Optional) Greek yogurt for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large pot over medium high heat, and add onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste
  2. Sauté vegetables until soft and onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes), stirring frequently
  3. Add garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes, stirring frequently
  4. Add bay leaves, chicken, and chicken broth. Stir, and bring to a rolling boil
  5. Once soup is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer for 20 minutes
  6. Remove bay leaves and chicken. Taste soup, and add seasoning to taste
  7. Shred chicken and add back to pot, along with rice
  8. Stir, cover pot, and simmer for additional 20 minutes (if using dried pasta, simmer for 7 minutes or according to package instructions)
  9. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and lemon juice together. Slowly add two ladles of soup to egg mixture. (This will prevent eggs from scrambling when added to soup)
  10. Mix egg mixture and fresh dill into soup until well combined, and cook for 5 more minutes on medium-low heat. Taste again, and add seasoning to taste
  11. Serve with dollop of Greek yogurt and pinch of fresh dill
  12. Enjoy! (Even more delicious when served alongside a piece of buttered crusty bread)

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