I believe I use most foods as a way to transport lemony goodness to my taste buds.
In my opinion, lemon makes almost any dish better. I’m trying to think of a dish that would suffer if either the zest or juice of these beautiful fruits were added and I’m having a hard time coming up with something.
Oddly enough, up until last year I would eat lemon in anything except desserts. For some reason a sweet with lemon threw me. But, I think I figured it out. Most people use lemon extract or a hint of lemon when making their desserts. I need the flavor of real lemon to smack me on the head so I can enjoy it in all its glory. Juxtapose its tartness with sweet and I’ll willingly take it.
But, after replacing most of my meals with lactation cookies these past few days, we really needed a dinner, not dessert. Keeping in line with the bitterly cold winter and Grecian themes, I decided to make a soup, and what better than a chicken soup with lemon!
This recipe makes a large pot of soup that will keep for at least 4 days, serving as a quick and easy lunch or light dinner. Or, freeze the leftovers in individual portions for the coming weeks.
AVGOLEMONO – Greek Chicken Soup with Lemon – adapted from Cat Cora
- 3 pounds of thighs, skins removed, organic
- 12 cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 2 leeks, cleaned and quartered
- 1 carrot, peeled and quartered
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 Tbsp salt
- small pot of water
Place the water, salt, and chicken in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; immediately reduce heat to low and skim the foam from the surface. Add the leek, carrot, and bay leaf and simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the chicken from the pot with a slotted spoon into a large bowl or plate and allow to cool. (Speed up this step by tossing in the fridge for 5 minutes or so.) When chicken is cool enough, pull the meat from the bones and dice up the chicken into bite sized pieces. Strain the broth into a separate large bowl. Wash the pot out and return it to the stove.
Heat the oil in the pot over medium. Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring as it cooks (about 5 minutes). Add the broth and the chicken back to the pot and simmer over the lowest heat setting.
Put up a small pot of water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tbsp of salt and a cup of orzo and cook for 9 minutes. Discard the water into the sink, but don’t worry about getting all of it out.
In a medium bowl, wisk the eggs, lemon juice and pepper. Using a ladle, slowly pour broth into the egg mixture, wisking as you pour. Add 4 more ladles, wisking as you go. Pour this mixture back into the pot and stir well to incorporate. Taste for salt and add more if necessary.
To serve: Put a scoop or two of orzo at the bottom of the bowl. Ladle soup on top.
Store cooked orzo separately from the soup. Otherwise, the orzo will get bloated as it sits.