Avgolemono Soup is a traditional Greek soup made with tender chicken, hearty white rice, an abundance of vibrant lemon, and broth blended with rich eggs for a creamy base. It’s a delicious weeknight soup or great for when you are feeling under the weather.
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
Avgolemono soup is one of the quickest, easiest and freshest tasting soups you can make! It’s a humble soup made with basic ingredients yet it packs so much bright flavor thanks to all the fresh lemon in it.
It has a nice light herbiness to it and it gets it’s creaminess from the starches of the rice and the use of eggs blended into the broth.
We love it paired with a side salad and fresh made pita bread, but fresh rustic bread drizzled with good olive oil is also another tasty pairing option for a basic yet delicious, hearty and carby, get feeling better meal.
Avgolemono Soup Recipe Ingredients
- Extra virgin olive oil: This is used to saute the aromatics but it’s also delicious to drizzle more over individual servings for extra richness.
- Green onions: I recommend using the lower white and light green portion of the onions for the recipe. They have stronger flavor.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic will offer the best flavor.
- Low-sodium chicken broth: If you happen to have homemade stock on hand that would be even better.
- Rice: I like to use jasmine rice since it has more flavor and cooks a little faster but regular long grain white rice will work well too.
- Dried oregano: This maybe isn’t so typical of Avgolemono soup but I love the light herby flavor it adds and the way it pairs with lemon.
- Bay leaves: Fresh or dried bay leaves can be used.
- Rotisserie chicken: If you happen to have other leftover cooked chicken breast or thighs (that aren’t highly seasoned with other flavors) those can be used here as well.
- Lemons: In this recipe we use both the juice and zest for lots of bright lemon goodness.
- Eggs and egg yolks: A combo of both are used for more richness and for a slightly thicker soup.
- Parsley or dill: You can use either/or, and it’s also an option to just omit if you prefer to just let the lemon flavor shine on it’s own.
How to Make Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
- Saute aromatics: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add green onion and garlic and saute 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant.
- Simmer broth: Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add rice and seasonings: Stir in rice, oregano, bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally so rice doesn’t stick to bottom of pot, until rice is just tender, about 15 minutes for jasmine rice and 20 minutes for white rice.
- Blend eggs with lemon, temper with broth: Near the end of cooking whisk together eggs, egg yolks and lemon juice. Slowly pour in 1 cup hot broth from soup with the eggs while whisking.
- Add chicken, stir in egg mixture: Stir in chicken and lemon zest. Remove from heat and while stirring soup pour in egg mixture. Return to heat and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until soup has thickened slightly for a minute or two.
- Finish with fresh herbs: Serve with parsley and/or dill. Add more chicken broth to thin soup if desired, it will thicken as it rests.
- Soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Store in an airtight container once cooled slightly.
- To reheat Greek Lemon Chicken soup you can rewarm individual servings in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl, on 50% power until warmed through.
- You can also rewarm soup (large or smaller portions) in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat stirring very frequently to keep eggs from curdling.
What to Serve with It
- Side salad: A spinach, Spring lettuce blend, or Romaine salad are good options. Additions like cucumber, tomatoes, olives and feta will add Greek flavors. Serve with a creamy Greek yogurt based dressing.
- Homemade wheat pita bread (pictured): Knead together 1 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup white flour, 3/4 cup water (then more as needed for a slightly sticky dough), 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast, 1 tsp salt, and 1 1/2 tsp sugar (for about 5 minutes). Rise 1 hour then divide into 6 portions (cover them). Preheat cast iron skillet over medium heat. Roll each out into floured surface into a round about 1/5-inch thick then cook until golden brown on each side.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you keep eggs from curdling in this soup?
- The trick to keep eggs from curdling in the soup is to temper them. That is to slowly add hot broth to the egg and lemon mixture before adding to the soup.
- Other helpful things include whisking the eggs very well (with lemon) before doing so (otherwise little strands of egg white tend to curdle). They should be whisked for about 1 minute until they become frothy.
- It’s also helpful to either remove the soup from heat so it’s not simmering vigorously or stir the shredded chicken in before you add the egg mixture, this helps cool the soup just slightly.
Is Greek Lemon Chicken Soup gluten free?
This soup is naturally gluten free, just be sure to use gluten-free certified products that don’t have cross contamination.
Is it healthy?
Yes this soup is fairly healthy but to give it an even healthier boost include 1 cup chopped carrots and 1 cup chopped celery (sautéed at the beginning for 6 minutes), and use brown rice in place of white rice (it should be pre-cooked to add to this recipe and only simmer 5 minutes).
Can you freeze Avgolemono soup?
- Yes this soup will freeze well. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
More Flavorful Greek Recipes to Try
- Chicken Gyros and Pita
- Greek Chicken Bowls
- Greek Meatballs (Keftedes)
- Grilled Greek Lemon Chicken
- Orzo Salad
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Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving if desired
- 1 cup chopped green onions (preferably white and light green portions)
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth, then more to thin if desired
- 3/4 cup jasmine rice or white rice
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 cups cooked shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley and/or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add green onion and garlic and saute 30 to 60 seconds until fragrant.
- Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Stir in rice, oregano, bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally so rice doesn't stick to bottom of pot, until rice is just tender, about 15 minutes for jasmine rice and 20 minutes for white rice.
- Near the end of cooking in a medium mixing bowl whisk together eggs, egg yolks and lemon juice until frothy for about 1 minute. Slowly pour in 1 cup hot broth from soup with the eggs while whisking.
- Stir in chicken and lemon zest. Remove from heat and while stirring soup pour in egg mixture. Return to heat and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until soup has thickened slightly for a minute or two.
- Serve with parsley and/or dill. Add more chicken broth to thin soup if desired, it will thicken as it rests.
- For added vegetables in the soup you can include 1 cup chopped carrots and 1 cup chopped celery. Saute these for 6 minutes before adding green onions and garlic. Increase both to 8 cups.
- Recipe makes about 9 cups.