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Avgolemono Soup (Greek Lemon-Egg Chicken Soup)

By Chef John Ash

We usually think of avgolemono as a soup served warm on a rainy day but on a hot day, it also works well cold as a refreshing vehicle for dipping fresh vegetables into. It has been a staple of Greek cuisine for centuries.

Avgolemono is made with eggs, lemon juice and chicken broth. It can also be used as a sauce on meats or vegetables. The true wonder of avgolemono is its extremely smooth texture, which it achieves without cream or dairy of any kind, aligning it with strict kosher dietary rules which prohibits the mixing of meat and dairy.

The rich, lemony flavor complements the 2022 Founders Reserve Chardonnay nicely.

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    Serves 4

    Total Time

    Prep Time

    Difficulty Level


    2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound; 450g)

    2 quarts rich chicken stock, preferably low-sodium

    1/3 cup rice or orzo (about 3 1/2 ounces)

    5 large eggs

    1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

    Dash Kosher salt

    Minced dill, for garnish


    1. In a deep saucepan, combine chicken breast halves with chicken stock. Heat gently, using an instant-read thermometer to keep the temperature of the stock around 150°F. Cook until the chicken breast reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), about 10 minutes, then remove from stock.

    2. When chicken is cool enough to handle, dice or shred the meat and set aside. Add rice or orzo to stock and cook until just tender, about 20 minutes for rice and 12 minutes for orzo. Lower heat to a bare simmer.

    3. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, combine eggs with 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice and beat until lightly foamy.

    4. While whisking constantly, ladle in about 1/2 cup of the hot chicken broth into the eggs (it's okay if some rice or orzo comes along for the ride). Ladle in three or four more 1/2-cup additions of the hot chicken broth while whisking, then whisk the egg-broth mixture back into the broth in the saucepan. Season to taste with salt.

    5. Cook the chicken soup over low heat, whisking and scraping the sides constantly with a heat proof spatula, until thickened by the eggs. Taste soup, then, if desired, whisk in remaining lemon juice until your desired level of lemon flavor is reached. Season with salt again, if needed. Add chicken meat, then ladle into bowls. Garnish with dill and serve.

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