Sunday, December 13, 2009

Greek Avgolemono Soup: Lemony Goodness for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I used to make Greek Avgolemono Soup frequently in my pre-blogging days, loving the lemony broth, thickened by egg and the orzo or rice (depending on which I had in the pantry). It is a soup that is good for almost any season because although it is hearty and comforting, the lemon juice gives it a certain light, fresh taste. When I saw a version of it in Vegetarian Times, I decided I had to make it. I will confess to cheating a bit with the vegetarian aspect of the recipe as it calls for "no-chicken" broth and I used a container of my homemade organic chicken stock mixed with a carton of low-sodium veggie stock to make use of what I had.

Vegetarian Times says, "Avgolemono (avgo: egg; lemono: lemon) soup is what a Greek mother or grandmother makes for a sick family member. When reheating this soup, warm it over low heat without bringing it to a boil, to prevent the eggs from curdling."

Greek Avgolemono Soup
Vegetarian Times, January 2008 & Healing Foods Cookbook
(Serves 8)

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium leeks, white parts finely chopped (4 cups)
1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 small carrots, peeled and diced (3/4 cup)
6 cups no-chicken broth
1/2 cup orzo pasta
2 large eggs
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, onion, carrots, and pinch of salt; cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables are softened, stirring often. Stir in broth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes. Add orzo, and cook 11 minutes more, or until orzo is tender. Remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs and lemon juice in bowl. Add 3 ladles soup broth to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk egg mixture back into soup, and cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until soup is thickened, but without letting it come to a boil. Serve sprinkled with parsley, mint, and oregano, and garnished with lemon wedges.

Nutritional Information per serving (about a cup): Calories: 144, Protein: 5g, Total fat: 5g, Saturated fat: 1g, Carbs: 21g, Cholesterol: 53mg, Sodium: 528mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 5g

Notes/Results: Thick, hearty and delicious! I can't figure out why I haven't made it before for Souper Sundays. In addition to my half chicken / half veggie stock change (mentioned above), I changed the plain orzo to my favorite whole wheat orzo for the extra fiber, added a couple of cloves of minced garlic and used the juice of two lemons. If you want some protein and don't need it to be vegetarian, small pieces of diced chicken are nice in it too. One note on mixing the eggs into the broth--you want to be very careful so they don't end up in little egg chunks or pieces. I find it best to wait 15-20 minutes after removing the soup from the heat before introducing the broth into the lemon-egg mixture and usually end up whisking 4-5 cups of the warm broth into it before I whisk it back into the soup. Works like a charm and no "eggy" lumps or chunks as long as you heat it back up slowly. I won't wait so long this time to make Avgolemono again.

Let's check in at the Souper Sundays kitchen and see what wonderful soups, salads and sandwiches showed up.

Danielle of Cooking for My Peace of Mind is here with one of her favorite comfort foods, Simply Beef Stew. Danielle says, "This is a basic recipe. One that I found some 20+ years ago in my Betty Crocker Cookbook (I really use this cookbook a whooooole heck of a lot). I don't do anything fancy schmancy with it. Just beef and veggies. I start off with same the basic ingredients. Sometimes the veggies vary, but not by much. One thing that I do is add more beef than the recipe calls for. I like it thick and I like it beefy."

Another bowl of beefy goodness is this Wintery Vegetable Beef Soup that Heather at girlichef, made to combat the snow, ice and freezing temps in her area. girlichef says, "But, imagine if you will a day where you're tucked inside the house and only know it's snot-freezing outdoors by the icicles you can see hanging from the barren trees through your window. Nobody has to is playing...blankets are strewn from every available chair, table and shelf to form a massive fort...and of course, the kitchen is beckoning! This is when I don't mind it so much. A big pot of soup...bubbling on the stove...that's the stuff baby. That's the stuff."

So nice to have Ulrike from Küchenlatein back again this week with her 30th soup for Souper Sundays. She's here with a creamy Spiced Parsnip Soup from Good Food magazine to share. It's full of parsnips, spices and heavy cream and beautifully garnished with olive oil, toasted cumin seeds and slices of red chili. Ulrike says, "We liked the parsnip's sweetness in combination with ginger and chili."

Vanillastrawberryspringfields joins us this week for her first time with a very colorful and creative combination of salads, her Shrimpy Cocktails Go Russian, chock full of a variety of tasty ingredients. She says, "This is delicious, a cocktail & russian salad in one-we all loved 'em. (psst psst got a few streaks of waldrof too in here-yup the apple, pineapple, et all)." Thanks coming to Souper Sundays Vanillastrawberryspringfields!

Looking for a hearty sandwich? Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies has one for you, these Chipotle Mango Pulled Pork Sammies. She says, "The other day I had a craving. I really wanted a pulled pork sammie. With chipotle peppers. I had a little boneless pork shoulder roast and didn't want to have to go out and pick up any extra ingredients. I tweeted my desires and was instantly provided the perfect recipe for my cravings. Piccante Dolce sent me a link to her signature crock pot dish and I couldn't be happier. It was easy and totally delicious. My kind of meal! Hubby was so very happy with this dish, I am sure I could make it every week for him for the rest of his life."

Some great soups, a creative salad and a yummy sandwich--we have it all this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich you would like to share, click on the logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a great week!


  1. The soup sounds delicious. Soup is so perfect for when you're feeling a little sick. I often make miso soup, (If you want to check out a simple recipe-

    Great pictures!

  2. I'm lobing the new photo style -too cute!!

  3. oh it looks like a magazine cover for your new cookbook right!

  4. Your soup looks wonderful. I like that photo very much.

  5. Deb, these all are terrific soups. I especially like your lemon soup (we want tell about the homemade chicken broth). And the Pull Pork Sammie sounds incredible... might have to make that one soon. Many thanks...

  6. That avgolemono soup looks delicious, maybe even better than the traditional chicken noodle :D The pictures are great too! I could down some of that soup while eating one of those delicious pulled pork sammies that Natashya made :D

  7. I've never had the Greek Avgolemono Soup, it looks wonderful and I would love the lemony flavor! Can't wait to try it!

  8. I really want to try that soup! I love a lemony soup and it is calling my name. And the photo is stunning.
    Great round-up, lots of variety!

  9. FoodFitnessFreshair--Thanks for stopping by. I love miso soup and have not made it in ages. It is on my short list of soups to make--I just keep bumping for others. ;-)

    Thanks everyone for the positive photo comments. I liked the lighting on these and I have been playing around with frames and things lately--these were fun to do. ;-)

  10. Yum yum yum. The avgolemono soup looks delicious. I can feel the lemony flavor from here. And what a great roundup! Love it.

  11. Love the photos and the font! Avgolemono is one of my favorites and, seeing how good yours looks, I believe I may be able to get the chittlins to give it a taste.

    I'm also loving the idea of a parsnip soup.

    (I asked Santa for a set of Greek diner soup bowls for Xmas; if he doesn't come through, I'm coming to steal yours.)

  12. I have seen recipes for that Greek lemony soup and have never made it. Looks wonderful. Thanks for the post. I love Souper Sundays, I just haven't had much of a chance to participate lately.

  13. I've always wanted to try Avgolemono soup - even though I can't pronounce it!

  14. Your Greek avgolemono soup looks stupendous! I like the variety of herbs in the recipe, its so refreshing!

  15. Ooh...the Greek soup sounds so good. (which reminds me--my Veg Times subscription expired)

  16. Great roundup of goodness!! Love all of the descriptions. ;) Your Avgolemono has me drooling!

  17. I love avgolemono - it's usually the first thing I can face when I've been sick.


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