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Avgolemono Soup (Lemon Chicken Rice Soup)

I've been enjoying this soup all fall and winter, I think I've made it at least ten times. It's creamy without being heavy, and the lemon is lovely on a cold winter day.

After roasting a chicken, I save the leftover meat and make broth with the carcass, with this soup in mind. This is a simple soup without anything to hide behind, so either make your own homemade chicken broth, or buy the best you can find.


A couple notes:

-tempering the egg yolks with hot broth is key to avoid scrambled eggs in your soup. This is very easy to do, just go slowly, whisk thoroughly, and you'll be fine!


-traditionally, you'd use egg whites alongside the yolks in this soup, but I prefer to just use the egg yolks for a silky smooth broth, saving the egg whites for another use.


-You can use any type of white rice here, but after trying with Basmati, Jasmine, and Sushi grade rice, I prefer Sushi rice, which I buy in bulk at my local co-op.



Ingredients:


-4 tablespoons olive oil

-1 large yellow onion, finely diced

-2-3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

-2 cloves garlic, finely minced

-2 bay leaves

-6 cups homemade or good quality chicken broth

-1/2 cup white rice, rinsed well (ideally sushi rice, but any white rice will do)

-2 lemons

-3 egg yolks (reserve whites for another use)

-leftover cooked chicken, about 2-3 cups, torn into bite sized pieces

-1/2 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped, coarse stems removed

-salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Method:


  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, diced onion, diced carrot, the zest of one lemon, and a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often for a few minutes, until the onion starts to look translucent, but doesn't take on any color. Add the minced garlic and stir well to ensure it doesn't color or stick to the pan.

  2. Add in bay leaves, chicken broth, and rice, and reduce heat to low. Cook over low heat for about 12-15 minutes, until the rice is tender but has a tiny amount of bite to it. Avoid over-cooking the rice.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and the juice of one lemon until combined. Using a ladle, very slowly pour a ladleful of hot broth into the egg yolk and lemon juice mixture, whisking the mixture the entire time you're slowly pouring in the hot broth. Add another ladle of broth to the egg mixture, whisking the mixture continually.

  4. To the pot of soup that has been off the heat for at least 5 minutes, slowly pour the tempered egg yolk mixture back into the pot of soup, stirring the soup gently all the while.

  5. Finally, gently stir in the cooked chicken and the fresh dill. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. If you'd like a bit more lemon, add more lemon juice now.




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