Nov 24, 2008

Avgolemono Soup with Chicken and Orzo


This soup.... started as leftovers from a roast chicken dinner. The bones were turned into a stock, and stock is always useful to have kicking around for anything, but the challenge was-- how could I make this into a really delicious soup with the average assortment of ingredients I had in the kitchen?

Solution: Avgolemono, the Greek egg and lemon soup!

The egg, lemon and milk that constitute the base of this recipe turns a plain old chicken stock into something amazing. Using Orzo rather than the traditional rice was a great touch, as it has a very satisfying chew and slurpiness in the rich broth. (I used the yummy orzo mentioned in this post.)

Here is the recipe:

6 cups of chicken broth
3/4 cup orzo
1/2 to 1 cup milk (optional)
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. butter (optional-- but butter will make it taste even better. Especially Cheese B butter.)
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup (or so) lemon juice
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
lemon zest
pepper and salt

cooked chicken meat (I used leftovers from the roast)
red bell pepper
carrots
onion

Start with sauteing the diced vegetables on low heat, meanwhile heat the stock and throw in the orzo, simmering until the pasta is al dente. Alternately you can add pre-cooked orzo shortly before serving to control its tendency to continuously expand. Reduce heat.
Add vegetables, meat, lemon zest, parsley, pepper and salt.
Combine the milk, yolks and cornstarch and whisk into the soup until it is thickened. Then stir in lemon juice and butter.

Garnish with a dollop of yogurt, a sprig of parsley, and a grating of pepper.
And there you go, a hearty bowlful of comfort!

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