Oddly enough, my personal connection with this soup has nothing to do with its Greek origins. When I was a teenager, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Mexico and the first meal I had in Mexico City started off with a bowl of avgolemono soup. It was a bowl perfect for the occasion. Creamy. Bright. Soothing after hours of travel.
I was thinking about that soup recently and decided to make a version of my own.
This recipe can either take a few hours or be done in 25 minutes. Myself, I work 12 hour days. On days that I work, the longer version isn’t an option unless I want to wait until 9:30 to eat dinner. To avoid relying on takeout too often, I’ve started looking for shortcuts based on my schedule and available equipment.
I did much of the advance prep on Sunday by making the stock and cooking/preparing the chicken. (See below.) The rice I made in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. 1 cup arborio rice to 2 cups chicken stock on the rice setting. It took 12 minutes rather than an hour on the stove. Alternatively, you can use store bought broth, the meat from a rotisserie chicken and instant or par-cooked rice to save even more time. With the pressure cooker and my chicken & stock already done, I had dinner ready in under 25 minutes.
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 3 yolks from large eggs
- Juice from 3 lemons
- 1 pound (or thereabouts) shredded cooked chicken meat
- In a saucepan or dutch oven, season the stock with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
- Add the rice, stirring to incorporate it in the broth.
- Add the chicken and lemon juice to the pot, stir and let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Very slowly, a spoonful at a time, add the warm broth to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. (This slowly warms the eggs and keeps them from scrambling.) When the egg/soup mixture is warm to the touch, whisk it back into the soup pot.
- Adjust lemon, salt and pepper to suit your taste and serve.
Adapted from Max & Eli Sussman's recipe from This Is a Cookbook.
Have a little more time? Make your own stock. It is easy, inexpensive (if you watch the sales!) and you can control the seasonings/sodium levels in your soup.
Bone-in chicken breast was on an absurdly good deal at a local grocery store. I grabbed my 6 quart dutch oven and loaded it up with the chicken, onion, shallots, scallions, carrots, sweet mini peppers, garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of apple cider vinegar. The veggies I use usually varies based on what I have in the fridge. I simmered it for a few hours on Sunday in anticipation of making this soup on Monday. Once it was done, I strained the broth and put it in the fridge. I picked the meat off of the bones. And voila! The most time-consuming part of the soup was done. I had around 2.25 quarts of stock and a nice amount of meat on the ready.