Greek Avgolemono Soup is similar to chicken soup but made both flavorful and silky smooth with the addition of the avgolemono (lemon-egg mixture).
I have one serious question after making this soup for the first time. Where have you been all my life? I think I am the Queen of Chicken Soup because my Chicken Soup with Dumplings is so good but this Greek Avgolemono (pronounced Ahvo-lemono) Soup with Lemon and Chicken and angel hair pasta is amazing.
And not just pasta, the heart of this soup is the mixture of lemon and beaten egg that is added at the end. Combined together they make for a wonderfully silky texture and a flavor that is nothing short of divine.
It might seem strange but Greek Avgolemono Soup thing that connected me to thinking this would taste so delicious, combining something tried and true with lemon? I have a recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Lemon that is sort of the same thing. It was a leap of faith and the results of the leap were such that they are my favorite flavor for mashed potatoes.
Sound strange? You HAVE to try it before judging it, it is truly delicious.
Like many other recipes when I’m trying to make something at home for the first time, I did a search for Greek Avgolemono Soup and found lots of variations. And as per my usual, I combined elements of several to make one I knew I would love.
Starting with the aromatics. I used a LOT of veggies, just like I do in my regular chicken soup. Sure I want the flavor of the mirapoix of carrots, onion, and celery, but I also love the mouthfeel they add to a soup. I upped the garlic a bit; which is my norm. And this soup does not taste like garlic either…I simply used three instead of that I saw most often called for which was 2 cloves.
That’s my standard formula though…whatever number a recipe might call for, I always think it needs at least fifty percent more, sometimes I double it!
The one variation I saw over and over again in this Greek Avgolemono Soup was the carbohydrate that was added. A range from regular rice to arborio rice, from orzo to thin angel hair pasta; either as strands or using the nests that can be broken up. I chose straight angel hair pasta and have no regrets. I preferred the texture to something that would have blended into the soup more like rice.
The nests might have made it a bit easier to break but really it only took me a couple of minutes to break up about 2 ounces of the strands until I had approximately 2 cups of them; I broke them into about 1-1½” pieces.
But it is personal preference so I’ve suggested amounts for other forms too. Truth be told, I put about 4 loose cups of angel hair into this soup and I’ve only indicated 2 cups in the recipe. The four cups was a bit much. Not the first day I served it but when we had leftovers the pasta had time to absorb more broth and it was as much pasta as broth so I’ll do less pasta next time.
Last but not least let’s talk chicken. I had a large package of chicken leg parts, so that’s what I used. But this could be a quicker meal if you choose if you have leftover chicken or one of those roasted chickens you can pick up at most markets. Add about 2 cups of cut up pieces to the soup…plus you can lessen the cook time; you’ll only have to warm the chicken, not cook it til it falls off the bone.
While several recipes caution about how to incorporate the egg/lemon mixture into Greek Avgolemono Soup without making scrambled eggs, I thought it was easy and painless…but I took one extra step. I scooped out a couple of cups of the soup and put it into bowl where it cooled off while the pasta cooked.
After the pasta was finished (and for angel hair, it’s only 3-4 minutes), I beat the eggs and mixed in the lemon juice and then slowly poured that mixture into the soup that I had removed from the pot, whisking all the time.
Once you have those ingredients incorporated together, it’s less likely that you will have a problem with the eggs, but still, do add the now combined soup/egg mixture back into the pot of soup and continue to stir all the while you do it. The result will be a soup that is will slightly thicken because of the egg and have a wonderful rich and mellow lemon taste.
Much like the traditions associated with my old fashioned chicken soup with dumplings, this Greek Avgolemono Soup is considered to have magical healing properties. We all know that magic really lies in having something warm, comforting, and delicious. This fits the bill perfectly.
More of our Favorite Soups!
- Chicken Soup with Dumplings
- Tex-Mex Chicken Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings
- Chile Relleno Soup
- Bacon, Potato, and Leek Soup with Roasted Garlic
- Thai Butternut Squash Soup with Shrimp
- The Ultimate French Onion Soup
PIN IT ‘Greek Avgolemono Soup with Chicken and Lemon’
Greek Avgolemono Soup with Lemon and Chicken
For the Soup
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8 chicken legs bone in and skin on (see Notes)
- 1 cup carrots finely chopped
- 1 cup celery finely chopped
- ½ cup green onions finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 oz angel hair pasta (approximately 2 cups of broken pieces) (can sub rice or orzo, use only 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups)
- Salt and pepper
For the Avgolemono Sauce
- 2 eggs large
- ½ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high. Add the chicken legs and brown on all sides, approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Add the carrots, celery and green onions, toss together to saute briefly then stir in the garlic. Saute for one minute.
- Add the chicken broth and bay leaves then increase the heat to high. Once the liquid has come to a rolling boil, turn down heat and add the chicken. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes until the meat is easy to pull from the bone. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool and remove the meat when cool enough to handle. Discard skin and bones.
- Ladle two cups of broth into a bowl and allow to slightly cool slightly while you continue to prepare the soup.
- Add the angel hair pasta to the pot. Break strands into approximately one inch long pieces with your fingers over the simmering broth.
- Lower heat to a bare simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until the pasta is done. Add salt and pepper, stir and turn off heat and keep covered.
- To prepare the egg-lemon sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until thoroughly combined, then add the lemon juice and stir to combine.
- Continue to whisk the egg/lemon mixture and slowly add the 2 ladles-full of the broth you set aside. Tempering the eggs with warm broth will make mixing them with the pot of soup less likely result in scrambled eggs!
- Once fully combined, slowly add the sauce to the chicken soup and stir continuously. Add the chicken meat to the pot. Heat very gently if necessary.
- To serve, garnish with fresh, chopped parsley. Serve hot with your favorite bread. Enjoy!