Greek Kotosoupa Avgolemon is an easy-to-prepare but hearty soup is flavored by the multi-purpose Avgolemono sauce made of eggs, lemon and chicken broth.he flavor of Avgolemono Soup (Kotosoupa Avgolemon) comes from a sauce comprised of eggs, lemon and broth. This combination of ingredients forms the basis for many sauces found in Greek, Turkish, Arab, Sephardic Jewish, Balkan, and Italian cuisine. It is thought to have originated with Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain. At that time the sauce more commonly used verijuice (sour juice made from unripe grapes or crab apples), pomegranate juice or the Seville (bitter) orange juice. Today using lemon juice is the standard. The sauce is used to thicken soups or as a standalone sauce to smother warm dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), artichokes, chicken, lamb or fish. It also forms the basis of the Greek Easter Soup, Magaritsa. Avgolemono Soup can use either orzo (a pasta that looks like rice), rice (short grain like Arborio rice) or pastina.
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 1 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 medium onion chopped finely (about a cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup rice or orzo (see note above)
- Salt and pepper
- 6 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 3 large egg yolks
- Coarsely chopped Italian parsley
- Shred the chicken.
- In a large pot bring the chicken stock to a boil.
- Add the shredded chicken, carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaves to the stock and simmer for 1/2 hour.
Make the Avgolemon Sauce:
- Separate the yolks from the whites in the two room-temperature rice.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy.
- Add the lemon juice and whisk again.
- Slowly pour while whisking a cup of hot chicken stock into the egg and lemon mixture.
- Add rice to the soup and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
OR . .
- Add orzo to the soup and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and remove from stove.
- Slowly stir Avgolemon sauce into the soup.
- Garnish with coarsely chopped Italian parsley and lemon slices.
Serve the Kotosoupa Avgolemon with warm crusty buttered bread of your choice.
Καλή όρεξη! (Kalí óreksi!)
Recipe by T. Johnston-O'Neill
Photos by Shari K. Johnston-O'Neill
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