Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ruth Reichl's Avgolemono Soup: Simple Lemon & Rice Goodness for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

Ruth Reichl has an amazing way with words, and food, and words about food. With a few sentences, she can have me craving whatever she is writing about. This means I am craving roughly ninety percent of the recipes included in My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life. I checked out this journal-style cookbook from the library as I am trying to curtail my cookbook buying, but I fear I am going to succumb and purchase this one at some point.

I was looking for a simple soup recipe for this weekend and was immediately drawn to her Avgolemono Soup. Since this soup is easy to make and uses pantry staples like broth, rice, eggs and lemon, I have made it many times and have several variations posted on the blog--including a few vegan recipes. Reichl's is probably one of the more basic recipes but that in no way takes away from the comfort and deliciousness of the resulting soup.

Avgolemono Soup
Slightly Adapted from My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl
(Serves 6)

6 cups chicken stock (I used a veggie, non-chicken broth)
1/3 cup rice (I used 1/2 cup)
1 lemon
4 eggs

Bring the stock to a boil. Add the rice, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile grate the rind from the lemon into a bowl, then squeeze the lemon and add the juice to the rind. 

Separate the eggs, dropping the yolks into the lemon juice. (Save the whites for another purpose/use.) Add a pinch of salt and beat the yolks into the lemon juice and rind.

When the rice is tender, whisk about half a cup of the hot stock into the yolks, then slowly pour the yolks into the soup, stirring constantly. Cook gently for about 5 minutes, or until the soup is slightly thickened. Pour into bowls and eat slowly.   

Notes/Results: Silky, lemony, and delicious. This soup doesn't fail to make me happy. Reichl features it in the winter and says it is all the better if snow is falling outside but I think that it is good any time--even, or especially on a breezy spring day. I used a good vegan chicken-style broth and used 1/2 cup of long-grain white rice but otherwise kept the recipe the same. You could of course add in a carrot or some other veggies but I think it is pretty perfect as it is. I ate mine with some bread and a few slices of Gruyere cheese for an easy lunch. I will happily make it again.

I am linking this post up with Foodie Reads 2017. I have not done a good job so far this year in joining in this fun event celebrating all kinds of foodie books. You can check out the March Foodies Read linkup, hosted by Heather at Based on a True Story, to see what everyone is reading this month.  
We have some good friends with delicious dishes waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen from last week--let's have a look!

Melynda of Our Sunday Cafe shared Orzo Pasta Salad with Pistachio Pesto and said, "The thing I needed to see was something reminiscent of spring. Something a bit lighter to enjoy for our meals, something with rich flavor, yet something that could be made with limited ingredients. Fortunately, our local co-op carries a nice selection of fresh herbs and vegetables from local farmers. That combined with a very interesting cookbook from the library, and we have a lovely springtime pasta salad to enjoy."

Claudia of Honey From Rock made Hawaiian Style Gumbo and said, "According to Wikipedia, Gumbo "likely derived its name from either a word from a Bantu language for okra (ki ngombo) or the Choctaw word for filé (kombo).  I have a wee planting of both the purple and green varieties of okra, though they do not hold their purple color after cooking. What I put together, and you can call it Hawaiian Gumbo or just Delicious Gumbo, whatever,  I figure the basics you need for a pot of it are covered here."

Tina of Squirrel Head Manor brought Grilled Salmon Spinach Salad and said, "...we opted to stop and pick up some salmon for a healthier dinner one day this week.  It was excellent. A bit of soy and honey and turned once in a grill pan.  Served with healthy fresh steamed broccoli and baked sweet potato. Now that's getting back on track! There was enough salmon left to make a pretty good salad for the next day's lunch too. I pulled stems off  fresh spinach, chopped some green onions and cut up the leftover salmon. Dressing was an Onion Dijon vinaigrette. (Forgive the blue plastic bowls. They are the designated bowls for work.)

Mahalo to everyone who for joined in this week! 

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post.
  • you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).

 Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I love lemons. In soup or desserts or in sauces. What a great looking recipe. SImple enough but hearty and satisfying. I hope to participate next weekend if I can get a blog list up.

  2. I must try this and this book has been on my wish list for some time. I love Ruth!

  3. Ok, I'm in. I have surgical procedure prep starting Saturday so I won't be posting after that for a bit.....unless I can schedule posts. Hmmmmmmmmm.

  4. I do love all of Reichl's books, and this is a soup I've heard about and long wanted to give a try. It sounds delicious.


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