Monday, August 27, 2018

Avgolemono Greek Soup

With the weather starting to become a little more autumnal, we thought a soup might be in order. This is a classic Greek recipe and really lovely whatever the weather. It is often served at holidays or celebrations in Greece. You can do the whole recipe or you can start with ready-made stock and some cooked chicken, depending on how much time you have. If you are doing this, start from ## with hot stock. This makes 6 - 8 Servings
1 whole chicken, approx 1.5kg - water – 2 carrots, roughly chopped – 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped – 1 onion, roughly chopped – 2 bay leaves – 5 black peppercorns – 1 t salt – half a cup rice or orzo rice shaped pasta (optional) – 3 fresh eggs, at room temperature – juice of 2 lemons, strained – zest of one lemon – salt and freshly ground black pepper - parsley
Trim all the excess fat off the chicken, put it into a large pot with the vegetables and add enough water to cover the chicken by 5 cm. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1½ hours. Take out the chicken, remove the meat and set aside for use later. Strain the stock and skim off any fat
## Add the rice or orzo pasta, if using, and cook until tender. While the rice is cooking, whisk the eggs until very frothy then add the lemon juice in a thin stream while you continue whisking. Put 2 ladlefuls of the hot soup stock into a separate bowl then slowly add the egg and lemon mixture. This will help to prevent the soup curdling. Put this back into the rest of the soup and heat gently. Do not boil once the egg has been added or you will get scrambled egg. Taste and adjust seasoning to your own taste, then sprinkle on the lemon zest and a little chopped parsley before you serve. You can add back some of the chicken meat if you want a more substantial soup and you can, if you must, add a couple of spoonfuls of corn flour to thicken, but this is not encouraged
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the egg-lemon mixture. Using a whisk beat the eggs until nice and frothy. Add the lemon zest and the lemon juice in a steady stream while continuing to whisk
When the pasta has finished cooking, turn off the heat. Ladle about two cups of broth into a bowl or large measuring cup. Slowly add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture while continuing to whisk. This will temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling once they are added to the hot broth
Stir the egg-lemon mixture into the pot and heat over very low heat for approximately 5 to 10 minutes until heated through. Be careful not to boil the soup once the eggs have been added

Adjust your seasoning for salt and pepper and add more as desired
Traditionally, this soup is served without the chicken meat or vegetables. You can add them back or serve on the side as you prefer
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