Chicken Avgolemono – A Greek Goddess Soup Indeed

Chicken Avgolemono Soup

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Chicken Avgolemono Soup

I had in the back of my mind for quite sometime to make Greek Egg-lemon Soup (also known as Avgolemono = a soup made with lemon juice and egg mixture). It has been about 2 years since I have had this soup when visiting my girlfriend Karen in Long Beach, California. We went to Cafe Ambrosia and they served up a really tasty bowl of the Avgolemono soup (I think it was a soup of the day back then because I don’t see it on their menu online).

Last night, I decided to make the soup for my friend Brain Pape, a mortgage broker, who was coming over to help with my remortgage and get some paperwork signed. He’s quite a cook himself and makes a killer Vichyssoise, so I was hoping that this soup turned out yummy for him.

The Verdict? I think this soup is a Greek Goddess Soup indeed. I will make this soup again in a heartbeat. The homemade chicken broth with the tangy lemon-egg was so very velvety smooth.  I actually woke up in the middle of night to have a little bowl of this soup as a snack. This was out of character for me – I’m not really one for evening snacks – but I was craving it!

I decided to purchase a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and take the meat off the breast and then use the carcass for the stock. I have used raw whole chicken in the past with all meat on to do the broth but the breast meat chicken gets to rubbery to use in the soup. I’d rather shred the roasted chicken and keep to the side to put into the soup.

Chicken Stock Ingredients:

  • whole roasted chicken carcass
  • 8-9 cups water
  • 2 carrots, chopped in large pieces
  • 1 onion, cut in quarter
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped in large pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • salt

Chicken Avgolemono Soup Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  • 14oz cooked chicken (white meat), shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2-4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • pepper

Chicken Stock Instructions:

  1. Cut off white breast meat from the roasted chicken (excluding skin – keep it for stock) , shred and put aside in fridge to use for soup later on.
  2. Bring chicken carcass (with skin and dark meat left on), onion, carrot, celery, garlic and salt to a boil, simmer over low heat for at least 1 hour (or 1.5 hours) with lid partially on.
  3. Strain stock.

Chicken Avgolemono Soup Instructions:

  1. Heat the chicken stock in a large saucepan and add the rice.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
  3. Add the chicken and warm through for 2 -3 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, whisk the eggs with the lemon juice in a small bowl. Add two ladles of the warm stock (slowly one at a time) and whisk until thinned.
  5. Remove the soup form the heat and gradually pour in the egg mixture, whisking to amalgamate it. It should thicken in the residual heat, but if you need to, place it over low heat for just 3-4 minutes, stirring the bottom of the pan to thicken. Do not return to high heat once the egg has been added, or it will boil and scramble.
  6. Add in the lemon zest and give it a final stir.
  7. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with parsley, extra lemon zest, and pepper. Serve immediately.

Original recipe is from this book: Soups: No-fuss Recipes for Hearty Soups by Tonia George

What I changed from original recipe:

  • omitted fried croutons – I don’t think this soup needs it.
  • made my own chicken stock.
  • added lemon zest – I love lemon zest!

Soup Mistress Rating for Chicken Avgolemono Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (4/5)
Presentation: (4.5/5) 
Taste: (5/5) 

World Famous or Not Matzoh Ball Soup is Nom Nom Not

Just last week, I ventured to New York City for the first time ever. Wow busy city indeed – I loved the whole experience and would like to go back in future.

During our visit, my girlfriend Karen wanted to visit Carnegie’s (www.carnegiedeli.com) for it’s famous gargantuan sandwiches and I was up for the experience because I wanted to personally try their fluffy matzoh ball soup (it was also touted as a famous dish).

After trying the soup, I am very puzzled to why others find it so great. Don’t get me wrong, the base was a flavorful chicken stock (tad on the salty side), but the matzoh balls were very tasteless. Overall, the presentation was a little hum drum. I have to give some credit though for the experience of the waiter pouring the stock into the bowl as I was sitting there – a nice touch. But the soup itself wasn’t spectacular what-so-ever.

I’m thinking this is one soup that needs a creative soup makeover. Maybe something injected in the middle as a surprise. In the future, I think I will try to tackle myself with my own flare.

A better spin on Matzoh Ball Soup: A best-selling Orthodox Jewish kosher cookbook author Susie Fishbein developed a recipe for Tri-Color Matzoh Balls combining spinach, turmeric, and tomato with matzoh ball mix. She’s on to something! Check out her Matzoh Ball soup here.

 

Soup Mistress Rating for Carnegie Deli Matzoh Ball Soup:

Healthy (+ slimming + low sodium): (2.5/5)
Presentation: (2/5) 
Taste: (2.5/5)