As you may remember, we visited Tarpon Springs back in September. When we ate lunch at Mykonos restaurant, we tried their Lemon Chicken Soup, which in Greek is called Avgolemono. I could not stop thinking about how good this soup would be for the early, crisp days of fall. Lemony goodness from the end of summer, mixed with a thick hearty broth that reminds you of the good fall soups. I just had to make it. And since my sister-in-law and I bought some orzo at the Greek market, it was just the thing to get me going.
After searching many recipes online and in my vintage Greek cookbook, I kind of blended recipes to make what I wanted. Here it is:
8 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Fresh Lemon juice, plus two lemons sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 can of chicken soup base (I actually used the broth from a can of chicken noodle soup I had in my pantry)
1/4 cup of butter or margarine (I used Smart Balance)
1/4 cup all purpose flour (or Wondra)
2 cups Orzo*, cooked (you can also use rice, but it is MUCH better with orzo)
8 egg yolks
1 tsp white pepper
4 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded**
Optional: 1/2 cup carrots and celery - I just don't like these in my soup!
*Bring a pot of water to a boil and add two cups of Orzo, and cook per the instructions on the package. Do not overcook the orzo, as it may cook a little once you add it back into the soup base. Drain, as instructed, and set aside until the soup base is complete.
**If you haven't made it yet, bring a pot of water to a boil and add your pieces of chicken breast. Boil on high for 10-15 minutes, or until fully cooked. On a cutting board, remove the chicken pieces and shred. Set aside until the soup base is complete.
First, combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, onions (and carrots & celery if you choose), chicken soup base, and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat to low or simmer for about 20 minutes.
Next, blend the butter and flour together and gradually add the paste mixture to the soup, and stir in with a whisk. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
While that is cooking, beat the egg yolks in a bowl until they get lighter in color. With a ladle, remove some of the soup mixture, and whisk it into the egg yolks. Once you get it fully mixed, combine the egg yolks into the soup base, and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Be sure to whisk in the yolks so that they are fully combined and cooked.
Once you have done that, add in the orzo and chicken that you cooked earlier, and let simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken is warm again. Ladle into bowls and top with fresh chopped Greek parsley, and serve.
This was so good that it may just become my staple for Chicken Soup when I am sick! A great way to combine the summer and fall flavors, all in one dish. Hope you enjoy!