Greek Lemon Soup

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2005/08/18 13:46:18 (permalink)

Greek Lemon Soup

I just returned to the states from B.C. Canada and up there I had one of the best soups that I have ever tasted. It was Greek Lemon and chicken soup. It had a very rich deep slightly citric flavor that was enhanced by little pieces of chicken. It was just fantastic.

I have had lemon soup before but never with chicken.

The place I had it in is a little Greek place called Tapas, it is in
Richmond B.C. right outside of Vancouver.

I would like to know how they make it so creamy without curdeling any cream or milk that has been added, if that is in fact what is used.

Has anyone else at Roadfood tried to make this soup?

12 Replies Related Threads

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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2005/08/18 13:52:52 (permalink)
    ive had the lemon soup with chicken orzo and greek spices but the way i really love it is with lamb tripe. hard to find unless youre lucky enough to have a greek grandmother.
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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2005/08/18 14:30:37 (permalink)
    The name of that soup is Avgolemono, and it is downright delicious. I have a greek girlfriend and whenever i go with her to her grandparent (yaya and papu) they make it, and make me some to take home. I love it. Don't know how to do it without curdling it though.
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2005/08/26 05:11:49 (permalink)
    I have never made this soup, but I have served it and eaten it. It is made with egg whites (hence the"avgo" of avgolemono) like egg drop or egg flower soup.
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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2005/08/28 13:44:13 (permalink)
    it's a lovely soup. its actually pretty easy to make. you have to temper the ( whole, not just the whites) eggs into the broth slowly, by adding a little of the hot broth to the eggs a little at a time to warm them up before adding them back to the soup.... sometimes its made with rice or orzo
    there isn't cream or milk in it.
    chicken broth, lemon juice eggs rice or orzo and chicken meat is about it. (& seasonings)
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2005/10/31 08:04:37 (permalink)
    Where can one find this recipe?
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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2005/10/31 15:02:19 (permalink)
    Here is a good recipe for it. Probably no Lambhead but you can use lamb meat.
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2006/01/02 20:00:47 (permalink)
    Now I have to stop by my old work neighborhood. I haven't even thought of that soup recently.
    Sonny Funzio
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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2006/03/21 14:44:52 (permalink)
    Hate to bump such an old thread, but it's still cold out in northern regions right now so this is a still a great soup for this weather.

    As Johns72604 notes, the soup you are possibly referring to is called Avgolemono which is Greek Lemon-Rice soup ... however the link in the subsequent post for lamb soup is not the same thing.

    You state that the version you had included chicken in it.
    To add chicken to the recipes I've included below, you might just add chicken breast that has been cooked through in a pan with butter and cut into dice, etc. to your liking.

    Avgolemono's richness and thickness comes from a combination of egg yolks, rice and, depending on your preferences, some thickening agent such as corn starch ... and in some instances cream depending on the recipe you are following.

    There are two basic versions of this soup ...and either one might be found at a restaurant.

    The first version relies on corn starch as a thickening agent and is a more "everyday" sort of recipe ... this will be a somewhat thicker version and is a bit more "forgiving" to the cook and will withstand temperatures that are a bit more uncontrolled. It will also "hide" better if the eggs scramble a bit from the heat while the soup is being held. It also doesn't require preparation at the line at the time of service ... it can sit in a steam table right along with the other soups.

    The second version is typical of a more fine dining sort of restaurant and relies on a classic method of thickening that uses a "liaison" of egg yolks and cream to obtain it's consistency.
    In a finer restaurant where the cooking line is more used to producing dishes that require multiple steps, the soup is finished and the egg & cream mixture is added just before service.

    AVGOLEMONO (using cornstarch slurry)

    add 1/2 cup rice to
    7 cups very hot (but not boiling) chicken stock

    add 2 L eggs + 2 yolks, beaten
    temper the eggs before adding them so they don't scramble ...
    Tempering is where you whisk in some of the hot soup to the (bowl of) eggs/egg yolks to bring the temperature of the eggs up gradually before incorporation of the eggs into the bulk of the soup (again while whisking constantly to incorporate).
    (See the 2nd recipe below for further info on how to temper.)

    Then add
    juice and zest of 1 very large lemon (add more if needed to taste)

    whisk in 2T cornstarch mixed with a little cold milk

    Cook until rice is tender and consistency is thickened ... Do not boil.

    If preferred, the color of the soup can be enhanced with a very small amount of yellow food coloring.

    before serving finish by incorporating
    1/4c butter

    salt to taste

    (Note: if thickened sufficiently, the soup is also a really great sauce for use over stuffed grape leaves!)

    The second recipe is the way you would serve it at a restaurant providing that you are set up behind the line to finish the soup when you are ready to sell. This is the preferable method.

    AVGOLEMONO (thickened using a liaison)

    add 1/2 cup rice to
    6 cups chicken stock and cook until rice is completely tender (hold at 180 degrees)

    Thoroughly combine 6 egg yolks (from large eggs) and 16oz heavy cream ... gradually add about 1/3 of the stock to the egg/cream mixture, whisking constantly to diffuse the hot liquid.
    Then, add the egg/cream/stock mixture back into your main pot of stock, whisking constantly.
    Bring and maintain the soup to just below 180 degrees.

    (Note that sour cream or creme friache can be used as part or all of the cream component.)

    juice and zest of 1 very large lemon (add more of both zest and juice as needed to taste)

    salt to taste

    Serve immediately.
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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2006/03/21 16:11:57 (permalink)
    Thanks Sonny. I am going make some useing both recipes. Also Easter is comeing and it's time for Greek Food. I will probably make some for Easter.
    Double Cheeseburger
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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2006/05/11 22:03:01 (permalink)
    I made a Greek themed dinner back in January (hummus, skothalia, salad, lamb with orzo and cheese, oven roasted potatoes and baklava) and I also made avgolemono soup. I got most of my recipes from "The Olive and The Caper" by Susanna Hoffman. Here's her recipe for the soup- my guests said it was some of the best they've ever had!

    8 cups of chicken stock, fish stock or lamb stock (the cookbook has from-scratch recipes for each, I just used regular store-bought chicken stock)

    1/2 cup uncooked orzo or white rice, preferably Arborio (I used orzo)

    4 large eggs

    1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

    1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

    Freshly ground black pepper, for serving

    1. Place the stock and orzo in a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the orzo is tender, but not mushy, about 12 minutes.

    2. Beat the eggs in a medium-size bowl until frothy. Whisk in the lemon juice, then slowly beat in 1 cup of the hot stock, then whisking vigorously.

    3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the egg/lemon mixture. Add salt to taste and serve right away without reboiling. Pass the pepper separately.

    Note: It is important not to reboil the soup once the egg mixture has been added, or else the eggs will clump.

    There's several variations suggested, such as using other small pastas (broken up vermicelli, trahana, which are Greek sourdough noodles, or tapioca; also, adding white pepper, cayanne or freshly grated nutmeg instead of black pepper; adding chopped fresh sage, mint dill or parsley; they also suggest adding minced chicken, tiny meatballs or beef tripe cut into 1/4 inch diced pieces. If you add one of those meat options, add it inro the stock before the egg mixture is added in. If you use the tripe, it has to cook for an hour in the stock before the egg mixture is added.
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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2006/05/12 08:02:51 (permalink)
    Thanks for the recipe.... I'll give it a try tonight!
    not the phantom gourmet
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    RE: Greek Lemon Soup 2008/03/15 16:25:10 (permalink)
    Just stumbled across this post and thought I`d add my two cents. My grandmothers recipe was very simple, just chicken stock, orzo, eggs and lemon. Cook the orzo about 10 mins, then add to stock, heat until steaming but not boiling. In the meantime put 3 eggs and the juice of 3 lemons into a blender and blend until foamy, then add about 2 cups of broth slowly, blending on low all the while. When this is done add the egg, lemon and stock mixture to the rest all at once, stirring. serve with plenty of black pepper and crusty bread. This can also be made with a lamb stock and is quite delicious that way.
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