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Avgolemono Chicken Soup with Rice

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If ever there were a soup to banish the winter blues, it’s avgolemono, the classic Greek soup made with lemon and eggs.

Every culture has a version of comforting chicken soup. In Greece, it’s avgolemono, the classic egg and lemon soup with chicken and rice. Avgolemono is easy enough to whip up on a busy weeknight. The only “cheffy” part of the recipe is tempering the eggs, a cooking technique used to gradually raise the temperature of eggs before adding them to the soup to prevent the eggs from scrambling (you don’t want egg drop soup!). I make the process easy by blending the eggs with some of the rice, broth, and lemon juice in a blender; this tempers the eggs and creates a creamy, stable base that never curdles. Before serving, I like to add a splash of heavy cream to the soup – it’s not traditional but I love how it balances the tanginess of the lemon. It’s fine to leave out the cream if you’d like to make the soup a bit lighter and/or more lemony.

What You’ll Need to Make Avgolemono

Avgolemono soup ingredients

Step-by-step Instructions

Place the chicken on a plate and season all over with the salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.
salting the chicken
Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the broth, rice, white pepper, dill sprigs, and bay leaf to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is al dente, about 5 minutes. bringing the chicken broth and rice to a boil

Remove the pot from the heat and add the chicken.

adding the chicken to the broth

Cover and let sit until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

poached chicken

Discard the dill sprigs and bay leaf. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then chop into bite-sized pieces.

chopping the poached chicken

Using a slotted spoon, transfer about 3/4 cup of the rice to a blender. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and yolks to the blender as well.

rice, eggs, and lemon juice in blender

Process until smooth, about 30 seconds.

blended egg, lemon, and rice mixture

Using a soup ladle, transfer about 3/4 cup of the broth to the blender and process until smooth, 10 seconds (be sure to leave the hole in the lid open and cover with a kitchen towel to allow the steam to escape). Add another ladleful of broth to the blender and process again.

egg, lemon, and rice mixture with some broth blended in

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pot, stirring until evenly combined. Add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Do not boil. (The soup will be a bit frothy at this point; don’t worry, the froth will settle as it simmers.) Taste the rice to see if it’s cooked through. If it needs a few more minutes, gently simmer the soup until the rice is cooked.

stirring the blended mixture into the broth

Right before serving, stir in the chopped dill and the chicken, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. If the soup is too lemony, add more cream. If the soup is too thick, thin it with a bit of water. adding the poached chicken to the avgolemono soup before serving

Serve immediately, as the soup thickens up quite a bit as it sits.

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Avgolemono Chicken Soup with Rice

If ever there were a soup to banish the winter blues, it’s avgolemono, the classic Greek soup made with lemon and eggs.

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup long grain white rice
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill, plus 2 teaspoons chopped (see note)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 2 lemons
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • ½ cup heavy cream, plus a bit more if necessary (optional; see note)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for serving

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken on a plate and season all over with the salt. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the broth, rice, white pepper, dill sprigs, and bay leaf to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is al dente, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, add the chicken, cover, and let sit until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. Discard the dill sprigs and bay leaf. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer about ¾ cup of the rice to a blender. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and yolks to the blender and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Using a soup ladle, transfer about ¾ cup of the broth to the blender and process until smooth, 10 seconds (be sure to leave the hole in the lid open and cover with a kitchen towel to allow the steam to escape). Add another ladleful of broth to the blender and process again.
  5. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pot, stirring until evenly combined. Add the cream and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Do not boil. (The soup will be a bit frothy at this point; don’t worry, the froth will settle as it simmers.) Taste the rice to see if it’s cooked through. If it needs a few more minutes, gently simmer the soup until the rice is cooked. Right before serving, stir in the chopped dill and the chicken, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. If the soup is too lemony, add more cream. If the soup is too thick, thin it with a bit of water. Serve immediately, as the soup thickens up quite a bit as it sits.
  6. Note: A sprig of dill is one “branch.”
  7. Note: Heavy cream is not traditionally added to avgolemono soup, but I like how it balances the tanginess of the lemon. It's fine to omit it if you'd like to make the soup a bit lighter and/or more lemony.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Calories: 428
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Sodium: 1,048 mg
  • Cholesterol: 191 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • I’m Greek and this soup is simply amazing especially in the winter. My recipe differs slightly by using orzo rather than rice, boneless, skinless thighs and whipping egg whites and folding them in for extra richness.

    • — John on January 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • Egg Bites and now this soup with several eggs. Been to the grocery store lately and seen the price of eggs! Just kidding. I intend to make both recipes, despite the cost of eggs!

    • — Pearl McElheran on January 15, 2023
    • Reply

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