Sunday, February 22, 2015

Vegan Avgolemono (Creamy Lemon-Rice Soup) for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

Wanting to finish up the last of a bag of basmati rice, I made a large batch. The leftover rice got me thinking about Avogolemono Soup (or egg-lemon soup). I have a few versions on the blog already, including one with mini meatballs (from my meat-eating days), a vegetarian version, and Terry Hope Romero's vegan version that gets its creaminess from white beans. I have had another vegan version sitting in my magazine "to-make" stack, from Shape magazine (March 2014). This one comes from Gena of
and uses miso and tahini for the creaminess. 

Gena says, "I’ve searched for vegan avgolemono for a long time, and none of the recipes I’ve seen blown me away. I wanted something quick, simple, tart, and very much like the creamy soup I remember, sans egg (which is the traditional thickener). ...It’s tangy from the lemon, creamy from miso and tahini, and full of nutritious, grounding brown basmati rice. Who needs meat when you have vegetables and grains?"

I made a couple of small changes to the recipe using my previously cooked basmati rice and blending the nutritional yeast (and dill) into the soup rather than topping with it. My changes are noted in red below.  

Vegan Avgolemono (Creamy Lemony-Rice Soup)
Adapted from Gena of Choosing Raw via
(Serves 4)

2 small shallots, diced
1 cup diced carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup brown rice (I used 2 cups cooked white basmati rice)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 Tbsp miso
2 Tbsp tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 heaping Tbsp dried dill or 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (I used fresh)

Saute shallots, carrots, and garlic in oil until shallots are translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add broth, rice, and salt, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook 30 to 35 minutes until rice is cooked through. (Note: Since I was using previously cooked rice and fresh dill, I cooked the veggies in the broth for about 15 minutes, then added my cooked basmati rice and about half of my dill and simmered it about 10 minutes more to heat everything through and blend flavors.)

Whisk together miso, tahini, and lemon juice. Add mixture to soup, whisking, until blended. Top with nutritional yeast and dill. (Note: I blended the miso, tahini, lemon juice and nutritional yeast in the blender before whisking it into the soup with the fresh dill.)

Notes/Results: I think that the recipe creator Gena is right, this soup is amazingly similar in both texture and taste to the non-veg version at my local Greek restaurant. Creamy and lightly tart and very good. I had wondered if either or both the miso and tahini would be noticeable in flavor but they truly were not--they only show up (in a good way) in the texture. The recipe calls for the nutritional yeast and dill to be added on top at the end but I felt like I would enjoy it more if they were mixed into the soup so that's what I did. (See the notes on the recipe above.) This soup is so aromatic with the shallots, garlic, lemon, dill and the basmati rice. I am a bit under the weather this weekend with a lingering sinus congestion and cough and it was just the thing I needed to feel better--I wish I made a double batch. ;-) I served it with corn and edamame bread from a local bakery. It would also be great with hummus and pita. I will make it again.  

Anthropologie FINALLY opened this month in Oahu. This could be very bad for my budget as I can get lost in their kitchenware for hours but I am usually limited to whatever I can pack into a suitcase and get safely back home. The bowl, plate and print cloth above are among my first purchases. Not the greatest pictures using them today--see above mention about feeling under the weather--so not in the mood for taking photos today. Ah, well... They deserve and will get better shots (and whiter/lighter backgrounds.) ;-) I had to buy these beauties as they match the color and look of a set of tea cups and saucers I have had for ages. Makes me happy! 

Let's see who is in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week:

My pal Heather of girlichef is celebrating her 6-year blogging anniversary by remaking the dish on her first post, Manhattan Clam Chowder. Heather says, "The very first recipe I shared was for Manhattan Clam Chowder. I wrote a short, two sentence introduction proclaiming how much I loved soup. The sentiment holds true today, but I like to think I've come a long way since I those days in my tiny kitchen, snapping photos under artificial light with my little pink camera. ... This Manhattan Clam Chowder is laden with clams and chunks of potato nestled in a tomato-based broth with a hint of underlying heat, and a bit of smokiness lent by the addition of bacon." Happy Blogoversary Heather!

Mireille of Chef Mireille's East West Realm is back this week with Tomato Chayote (aka Christophene) Soup. She says, "Chayote is a vegetable that has many different names even in English, depending on what country you are in. Most Americans and Mexicans call it chayote, Jamaicans cal it cho-cho, Africans and Caribbeans call it christopene and in New Orleans it is called mirliton. Whatever you call it, it is one of my favorite vegetables to include in soups. It is a member of the squash family and will absorb other flavors rapidly. This is a very brothy soup, perfect for those winter days when you are stuck inside with a bad cold and not a lot of energy for chewing."

Janet of The Taste Space shares this fresh and pretty Kale Fennel Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette. Janet says, "I used to eat a grapefruit every.single.morning. Now, I can’t even remember the last time I ate a grapefruit. Perhaps in Houston. Suffice it to say, it has been a while. I probably should have spent more time devouring citrus while in Texas because ripe and sweet grapefruits are delicious. Sometimes you are lucky to find them in Canada, too. In this case, I went with something more unique and added it to a kale salad. I also experimented with raw fennel, which was a touch bitter for me (especially paired with the grapefruit), so add that to taste.  A bit of coconut was reminiscent of the Caribbean. The flageolet beans, perfect for adding to salads, was a way for me to make this a complete meals instead of a side salad."

Thanks to Janet, Mireille and Heather for joining in this week. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the sidebar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week! 


  1. I've been searching for a veg version of avgolemono! It's such a delicious and fresh flavored soup...definitely perfect for brightening up these winter days!

  2. I have bookmarked this recipe and must try it now that I see how well it worked for me - your photos look really gorgeous - I was admiring your crockery and now I am quite jealous of your purchases - I think having an Anthropologie near me would be dangerous.

  3. This looks like it's creamy and full of flavor, a great vegan spin! And oh my gawd, I'm glad there's not an Anthropologie near me. I always go on line, put tons of stuff in my cart...then walk away for an hour or so. Usually I wind up deleting it. If there's something I still really want, I'll wind up getting it. Not sure I'd be able to do that if I was actually standing in the middle of it all!

    Thanks so much for the blogoversary wishes! :)

  4. Gluten Free A-Z BlogFebruary 24, 2015 at 1:36 PM

    The vegan avgolomono soup recipe is a find. We love lemony soups and I've never found a good vegan substitute. Looking forward to trying this.

  5. I'm a vegan and always worry about what non-vegans will like and this is it. It's always a hit and I don't know of anyone who doesn't love it. Most of my friends don't cook much so as a first course, it always sets the tone for a great company meal. Thos friends who cook always ask for the recipe. *****

  6. I'm a vegan and always worry about what non-vegans will like and this is it. It's always a hit and I don't know of anyone who doesn't love it. Most of my friends don't cook much so as a first course, it always sets the tone for a great company meal. Thos friends who cook always ask for the recipe. *****


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