I know, I know.
I know that I’m sharing a soup recipe in June, when I should be sharing recipes for no-cook dinners, fresh salads, grilled veggies, and ice cream.
Because it is scorching outside…
But, instead, I’m sharing the recipe for my favorite soup of all time – Chicken Avgolemono. This Greek soup is full of chicken, carrots, and pasta and flavored with egg and lots of lemon! Which is a perfect dinner for stormy summer nights when the rain is coming down in sheets and the temperature drops.
Plus, it’s easy to make!
It starts with the broth base.
In a large pot with a lid, combine two 32oz cartons of low sodium chicken broth and 2-4 cups of water. This allows you to control how “loose” you want the end result – sometimes we only use 2 cups, which results in almost a stew-like consistency (my dad’s favorite!). Basically, do whatever you feel is right for your palate/taste/preference!
This is a trick that my mom uses – she pops in raw chicken breasts to poach in the broth, not only cooking the chicken ’til tender, but also intensifying the flavor of the broth. Simmer the chicken in the broth until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
Then pull the chicken out and let it cool.
Crank the heat and bring the broth to a boil and then add in some carrot coins (carrots cut into thin rings!).
And then pour in the small shape pasta of your choice! Traditional avgolemono usually uses orzo pasta but I have found that I love the tubettini (the little tubes) pasta too – it is a nice change! Cook the pasta until just tender (the al dente timing on the box). Turn the heat down to bring the soup to a simmer.
In a medium-sized, heat-proof bowl, combine the juice of 2 lemons with two whole eggs. Whip the eggs and lemon juice together until well combined. Season the mixture with some salt and pepper. Then we need to temper the eggs. CAREFULLY, ladle small portions of the hot broth into the egg mixture while whisking vigorously – I like using my hand mixer for this. This brings the temperature of the eggs up so they can be incorporated into the soup without turning into scrambled eggs. When the mixture is warm, transfer it to the large pot and stir to combine. Allow the soup to simmer while you prepare the last two ingredients.
Grab the chicken breasts and cut/shred them into bite-sized pieces. I love the texture of shredded chicken in this soup, but if you like chunks, go ahead and cut it up!
Don’t forget to cut up a small portion for your cat who is meowing piteously at your feet.
Add the chicken to the pot along with a cornstarch slurry – a tablespoon of cornstarch with about 2 tablespoons water. This tightens up the soup slightly and gives it a delightful consistency.
Finally, taste, taste, taste. Adjust the seasonings and add extra lemon if needed. It should be just a bit tart!
Serve it up in large bowls and garnish with extra lemon and fresh herbs (dill’s my favorite!).
So, kiddos, what’s your favorite summer storm food?
Your soup makin’ friend,
- 2 32oz cartons low-sodium chicken broth
- 2-4 cups water, depending on consistency preference
- 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 medium-sized carrots, cut into thin rounds
- 8oz small-shape pasta, like orzo or tubettini
- 2 eggs
- Juice from 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- Fresh herbs and lemon slices for garnish
- In a large pot set over medium-high heat, add in chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil and add in the chicken breasts. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook chicken until done, about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Return the heat to medium-high and bring the broth to a boil. When the broth is a boil, add in the carrots and the pasta. Cook the pasta until just tender (use the timing for al dente on the box!). When time is up, turn the heat down to bring the soup to a simmer.
- In a medium-sized, heat-proof bowl, combine the eggs and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and then whip until combined. Using a ladle, CAREFULLY pour small portions of hot broth into the egg mixture while continually (vigorously) whisking - I like using my hand mixer for this! When the egg mixture has come up to temperature, pour the egg mixture into the soup. Stir to combine.
- Cut/shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken into the soup.
- Make a cornstarch slurry - combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and stir until smooth. Pour the slurry into the soup and simmer until the soup thickens slightly. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Portion into bowls and garnish with lemon slices and fresh herbs!