Chicken Avgolemono Soup
Soupa, or soup, is nourishment for body and soul. This particular recipe is the soup I always takes to friends who have the flu and are unwell. I guarantee full recovery!
Avgolemono means ‘egg and lemon’ in Greek. In this version, I have used chicken; however, snapper, goat or lamb could be used instead. My aunt Stavroula often makes the soup with a whole snapper and also includes carrots, celery, onions and potatoes. Serves 4–6
1–1½ kilogram whole chicken (you could also use various chicken cuts)
8–10 cups water, depending on the size of your pot
½ bunch parsley, tied
4 sprigs thyme
2 sticks celery, halved
2 carrots, halved
4 onions, halved
¾ cup short-grain white rice
4 eggs, separated
1 cup lemon juice
Cracked pepper or lemon pepper, to taste
Wash and clean the chicken and remove the insides. Pat dry and cut into pieces.
Place chicken pieces in a large pot with the water on low heat and bring to the boil. You will notice that while it is on a slow simmer the chicken will release scum to the surface. Skim this off and discard. Next, add the parsley, thyme, celery, carrots and onions and simmer on low heat until the chicken is tender and cooked. This will take approximately 45 minutes.
Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and discard the vegetables and herbs. Remove the chicken meat from the bones, take off the skin, and cut the meat into small pieces. Return the meat to the chicken stock.
Bring the stock to a simmer and add the rice. Stir through until the rice is almost cooked. This should take 5–10 minutes. About halfway through the cooking process, in a large bowl beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the egg yolks, then gradually add the lemon juice while beating constantly. Continue beating while slowly adding some of the stock until the bowl is almost full. Pour the avgolemono mixture into the chicken stock pot and mix well. Simmer for a further 5 minutes on low heat.
Garnish with a little cracked pepper or lemon pepper and serve with fresh crusty bread.
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