One of the worst things is having a cold during the spring. Just as the sun is coming out and the air is warming, I am all plugged up in the ears and nose with a sore throat. Erg. I did find a ray of sunshine through the haze of congestion though, warm chicken soup. This cold was the perfect opportunity to make one of my favorite chicken noodle soups, Greek Avgolemono.
I first came across this soup at a pizza joint about six years ago. It was so creamy and lemony and comforting. I sought out a recipe in Cooking Light as that is where almost all of my recipes came from in 2006, back before I discovered Food Network, and long long before I knew how to write my own recipes. When I first found this recipe I would make it all of the time, even though the hubs is not a huge fan, but that is ok because I can eat the whole recipe myself in just a few days.
I strongly encourage you to try this recipe, it is easy and produces a wonderful chicken soup.
Avgolemono. Makes about 6 large bowls (recipe adapted from Cooking Light).
1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite sized pieces
6 C chicken broth (if you are using 14 oz cans, use three and add 6 oz water)
1 T fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 C uncooked orzo pasta (I have made it with less or more depending what I have on hand) — if making this grain free simply omit the pasta, for gluten free I suggest a quinoa/rice orzo cooked before being added to the soup
1/3 C lemon juice, fresh is best here
1 large carrot, shredded (about a cup)
1/4 t sea or kosher salt
1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper
Cook chicken if it is not already done. Chop and set aside.
Over high heat, bring broth and dill to a boil in a 3 quart stock pot. Add orzo and reduce heat to medium to simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the orzo is slightly tender (very al dente).
Combine eggs and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Using a ladle, remove one cup of broth from the stock pot, taking care to avoid getting an orzo. Place ladled broth in a measuring cup with a spout so it is easier to maneuver for the next step. Let the broth sit and cool for about 2 minutes.
Add carrot, salt and pepper to the stock pot and simmer over medium-low heat 5-8 minutes until orzo is cooked.
With the blender on, add broth slowly in a steady stream and process until smooth. Do not just dump the hot broth into the eggs or you will end up with scrambled eggs. By adding it slowly you are able to temper the broth into the egg without curdling them.
Turn heat off and add chicken to the stock pot. Slowly add in egg mixture, stirring constantly. Make sure the soup does not boil.
A note: the original has you cook the chicken in the broth while the orzo finishes cooking. I add mine cooked because I have found that too much of the fat gets into the soup making it less attractive.